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"It's been like a whirlwind! I can't believe everything that's happened in the last couple months," said Brad Paisley, on the evening of his induction into the Grand Ole Opry at the historic Ryman Auditorium recently.

Yet, perhaps Paisley's really the whirlwind. Since his debut album, "WhoNeedsPictures," he's charmed modern country fans with his traditional country tunes. "He Didn't Have To Be" blew through the charts to #1 as has his more recent single"Two People Fell In Love", from his upcoming album "Part II

Obviously, Brad has ushered in somewhat of a resurgence in Old School country. And, for that reason, the Opry chose to induct Paisley into their ranks before receiving older and more-seasoned artists.

"Brad Paisley is one of those rare artists who just does everything well! I love his passion for his music and particularly his passion for the 'Mother Church,' the Grand Ole Opry. I am so happy he's now the latest addition to the Opry family. With Brad, I know country music is in good hands," said Steve Wariner during the ceremony. Speechless and surrounded by Opry legends Little Jimmy Dickens, Bill Anderson and Jeannie Seely, Brad joined the Opry "in" crowd.

Understandably, the invitation to join the Opry family came as something of a shock to 28-year-old Paisley, especially so early in his career. "It's kind of a nice thing that surprises, a thing that you probably dreamed of. But, maybe didn't expect would happen," said Paisley. "The hardest part of this for me to comprehend is seeing my name next to the other Opry members. There are so many legends on that list, it really puts the pressure on. I definitely don't feel worthy, but I will try my best to earn it- one song, one performance at a time."

Yet, perhaps it was his induction night attire that best described his attitude. He arrived wearing a yellow sparkling jacket, on loan from his hero Buck Owens, and boots bought during his 2000 New Year's Eve Bakersfield visit to perform with the country great." "They got their first scuff on the streets of Bakersfield," he says proudly. The jacket, which surprisingly fit Paisley's perfectly, was first seen on Owen's record called "Live From Carnegie Hall," Brad's favorite.

"I love what Buck Owens has done for country music," he says. I pattern myself and what I do, to some degree, after what he's done. You know, when it comes to his individuality, he doesn't listen to people who say you should do this or that if it's not him." Obviously, Paisley brings the same stylistic determination to country music as well. / Issue 16 - September 2018
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