Carrie Underwood helped cement Kelsea Ballerni's place in the country genre by assisting in the induction of the 25-year-old as Grand Ole Opry's newest and youngest member live on Nashville's Opry stage.
On Tuesday night (April 16), Underwood welcomed Ballerini back to the Opry stage, saying, "I want to thank [the Opry] for asking this incredible, talented, smart, sweet, beautiful, woman to be a member. You have accomplished so much in your career, and you will accomplish undoubtedly infinite amounts more in your career and in your life — awards, No. 1s, sales, tours, fans and just all of it — this is better than all of that. This is the heart and soul of country music. The Opry has been and always will be here — the heart and soul of country music, the family. You are in it."
Underwood's sweet introduction brought the two-time Grammy nominee to tears and there are several reasons she appeared so caught up in her feelings. "I think that especially since I moved to Nashville, I had this big dream to do all these kinds of things," she said after the American Idol champ's presentation. "I've rarely looked up. There’s rarely been a moment that’s made me just stop, take a minute, be grateful and look up. One that I remember is Feb. 14, 2015, and that is when I made my Opry debut. One is right now. I just want to say, that it’s so nice and comforting to know that no matter where life takes me, and no matter if the radio stops playing me tomorrow, and whatever happens, I can always come here, and I can always play country music."
Scroll on below to see the big moment between Underwood and Ballerini!