Backstage at the Opry with Dustin Lynch

From Sneaking In to Being Invited In

The first thing that happened to Dustin Lynch on the night of his Grand Ole Opry induction was finding a gift from Carrie Underwood waiting for him. And his first thought? “It’s so cool that Carrie Underwood knows who I am.”

Lynch told that story backstage before his induction ceremony on Sept. 18, as he tried to put into words what the honor meant to him. And he fully confessed that the first time he was backstage at the Opry was when he was not exactly invited.

“My first time as a patron of the Opry, I snuck in backstage believe it or not,” Lynch recalled. “I can remember that night very well because I was scared to death. One, I was at the Opry for the very first time. Two, I wasn’t supposed to be backstage, and I was afraid I was going to get kicked out.”

Fast forward all these years and all these songs later, and Lynch had a decision to make about how to spend his day getting ready. Should he spend all day thinking about the night ahead? Or just make his day as routine as possible? He chose the latter.

Lynch had had a songwriting session on his calendar for months, and he worried that he’d be too excited to write. “The guys will for sure give me a break if I have to cancel on this day,” he thought. But then, sanity prevailed.

“I decided instead of sitting around the house, and really working myself up counting down the seconds all day long, I was going to go in and write a song. I woke up with a big ole smile on my face and I got ready, and I drove into town and wrote a really cool song,” he shared. “I figured staying busy would put me in a better head space for tonight instead of sitting around and waiting on the night to start.”

When he finally did take the Opry stage, he had to stop singing for a moment just to acknowledge how much he adores Reba. “I cannot believe what just happened. Reba McEntire just gave me a hug. That is the perfect girl, and I know they’re getting good at this cloning stuff, but if we could clone another Reba,” he said, “the world would be a better place.”