The Grand Ole Opry tallied its 4,941st consecutive Saturday night broadcast on Sept. 12 with a showcase featuring Ashley McBryde, Tenille Townes, Riley Green and Mark Wills.
During the show, Tenille and Riley were presented with ACM Awards for New Female Vocalist of the Year and New Male Vocalist of the Year, respectively. In August, the Academy of Country Music revealed Tenille and Riley as two “early” winners from the upcoming 55th ACM Awards, which will air live from Nashville on Sept. 16 at 8 p.m. ET on CBS.
From the Opry stage on Saturday night, Mark presented Riley with his award, while Ashley presented Tenille with her award.
“It’s such an honor,” said Riley. “I really never even dreamed of something like this happening. A lot of people helped to get me where I am today. My entire team in Nashville, all my family and friends back home for all their support, the fans, country radio, and most importantly the two men that inspired this last song I’m going to play, Buford Green and Lendon Bonds, ‘I Wish Grandpas Never Died.’”
“Such an honor to follow in your footsteps and call you a friend, Ashley,” said Tenille. “It really is just a great joy to get to do this thing I love to do. It’s a dream to get to remember this moment here on the Grand Ole Opry stage and it is an honor to be a part of this country music community.”
The ACM Awards will take place on Sept. 16 at three iconic Nashville institutions: the Grand Ole Opry House, The Bluebird Cafe and Ryman Auditorium. Keith Urban will host the show for the first time.
photos by Tammie Arroyo, AFF-USA.com