Playing the Grand Ole Opry would make any rising country star get emotional, but the experience was truly life-changing for newcomer Ashley McBryde. She grew up in Arkansas just dreaming of playing the Opry one day. In fact, it was one of the major dreams that drove her to make the move to Nashville about 10 years ago.
“If I hadn’t always dreamed of debuting at the Grand Ole Opry, I don’t think I’d be worth much as a musician,” Ashley says. “It was sort of like this faraway fairy tale land for a long time when I was little — knowing that that’s where all the greats were.”
After a lot of hard work, Ashley got to make her Opry debut earlier this year, and she had a film crew with her every step of the way. Ashley got emotional stepping into the dressing room where they put artists making their Opry debut. Prior to her performance, Ashley also stood onstage in the famous circle of wood taken from the Grand Ole Opry’s old home at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium.
As she touched that piece of stage, Ashley admitted, “It’s really hard to think about all the people that have stood here. It’s like standing in your dad’s boots when you were little. You know it feels right, but there’s just a lot of space to fill. It’s terrifying, but it feels like coming home, too.”
When it came time to perform, Ashley was introduced by Craig Morgan, and then played a song she wrote just for her Opry debut titled “Girl Goin’ Nowhere.” The lyrics take on all the folks who said she’d never make it as a country singer, one of her former teachers in particular, and the crowd really connected with Ashley’s emotional performance.
Ashley was overwhelmed as the Opry crowd gave her a thunderous standing ovation. The announcer told the audience as they applauded, “That is what we call an Opry moment. You just witnessed history.” Watch her full performance of the song below.