McEntire’s anniversary weekend included two sold-out shows and surprise guests. Her set included the first song she ever sang on the Opry stage, “Invitation to the Blues.” She also sang “Survivor” and “Fancy” before being joined by Vince Gill and Carrie Underwood. McEntire and Gill sang “Does He Love You” while Underwood joined her for “Oklahoma Swing.” The biggest surprise of the night was Dolly Parton, who was actually there for McEntire’s induction 40 years ago.
“It was a lot of fun. It was nerve-wracking; it was scary. This means the world to me,” McEntire said on stage. “It’s been a wonderful 40 years. I couldn’t have done it without you, and I wouldn’t have wanted to!”
McEntire became part of the Grand Ole Opry family 40 years ago back on Jan. 17, 1986. To reminisce over that special moment, she sang her induction song, “Somebody Should Leave.” During the magical night, RIAA President Mitch Glazier surprised the redhead with a plaque to commemorate more than 40 million in RIAA certifications across 27 albums.
Check out the photos below and relive McEntire’s 40th anniversary celebration.