Scotty McCreery got one heck of a Christmas gift from the Grand Ole Opry. He was invited to become the newest member on Sunday night (Dec. 3).

Garth Brooks had the honor of inviting McCreery and he literally handed him a wrapped present. Although, he told the "Cab ub a Solo" singer not to open it because what's inside hasn't arrived.

"Tonight is merely an invitation," Brooks says in video shared by the Opry. At that point, 30-year-old McCreery knew what was coming.

  • If McCreery is officially welcomed in 2023, he'll become the fifth new member this year, following Henry Cho, Gary Mule Deer, Sara Evans and Jon Pardi.
  • Brooks was on hand to formally induct Pardi in October.
  • He also invited Ashley McBryde to join almost exactly one year ago (Dec. 10).

McCreery was at a loss for words, but said he figured he probably wouldn't be sleeping tonight. The event was not just a normal Grand Ole Opry performance, but part of their Opry Country Christmas celebration, which runs through December.

This invitation wraps what has been a banner year for McCreery: He welcomed his son Avery in late 2022 and continued to notch radio hits. Earlier this fall, he announced the 2024 Cab in a Solo Tour, beginning in January.

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Related: 26 Country Stars You Won't Believe Aren't Opry Members

In addition to Brooks, Opry members Mandy Barnett, the Gatlin Brothers, Charlie McCoy and Jeannie Seely were there to witness the invitation. McCreery has not yet responded to the invitation on social media.

26 Country Stars You Won't Believe Aren't Grand Ole Opry Members

Fifteen living CMA or ACM Entertainers of the Year are not members of the Grand Ole Opry, and a few of them barely recognize the vaunted stage. George Strait, Kenny Chesney and Willie Nelson are three legends who rarely play the Grand Ole Opry. Why?

That answer is often difficult to determine, but this list suggests reasons where appropriate. Membership into the Grand Ole Opry comes with an obligation to play the show frequently, but that's often set aside (Barbara Mandrell is an inactive member, for example). Only living artists are considered, and once a member dies, they are no longer a member.

As of 2023, there are more than 70 members of the Grand Ole Opry. Historically, nearly 250 men, women and groups were members — so, it's a select group that excludes several Country Music Hall of Famers.

Gallery Credit: Billy Dukes

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