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Gayle invited to join Opry

Wednesday, November 16, 2016 – Crystal Gayle was surprised during her Grand Ole Opry performance on Tuesday with an invitation from Opry member Carrie Underwood to become an official Opry member.

Gayle will be formally inducted into the Opry on Jan. 21, 2017 by her sister, Loretta Lynn. Gayle made her Opry debut nearly 50 years ago on the Ryman Auditorium stage, singing the country classic "Ribbon of Darkness" at age 16.

Underwood surprised the sold-out Opry at the Ryman crowd by joining Gayle on the smash hit "Don't It Make My Brown Eyes Blue." Seconds after finishing the duet, Underwood turned to Gayle and said, "You are an inspiration to so many of us. You are important to country music, and you are important to the Opry, which is why I was asked tonight to ask you if you would like to join our Opry family officially."

Hugging Underwood, Gayle said, "I have always felt like I was a member of the family, and this is just so special."

"For more than half of the Opry's 91 years, Crystal Gayle has been lending her signature vocals to Opry shows and connecting with Opry audiences as well as with everyone backstage," said Opry Vice President and General Manager Pete Fisher. "She is family, and we are very excited that she'll become an official Opry member early next year."

Gayle had 20 number 1 country singles, beginning with "I'll Get Over You" and including her signature song, "Don't It Make My Brown Eyes Blue." That song earned her a Grammy for Best Female Country Vocal Performance and also made her album "We Must Believe In Magic" the first by a female country artist to go Platinum. She won CMA Female Vocalist of the Year in 1977 and 1978 and the Academy of Country Music honored her with the same award in 1976, 1977 and 1979.

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