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Photo Story: "Belmont at the Opry"

Belmont University celebrated its 50th anniversary of the music business program on Tuesday night at the Grand Ole Opry with Belmont alumni. 

 

The program included performances from the Belmont Bluegrass Ensemble, Ashley Cooke, Trisha Yearwood, Hailey Whitters, Ian Munsick, Tyler Hubbard and a writer’s round featuring Nicolle Galyon, Ashley Gorley and Hillary Lindsey. 

 

Plus, there was a surprise appearance and performance from Belmont alumni Brad Paisley. 



The show opened with the Belmont Bluegrass Ensemble, a group of all current Belmont students to perform on the Opry stage. 



Following them was Ashley Cooke, who won her first Country Music Television award this past Sunday.  

 

She graduated from Belmont in 2019 and said that she owes a lot of her success to the school. 

 

“The people at Belmont are the reason I’m on this stage,” Cooke said. 

 

The show was hosted by Bill Cody of the Opry, and he made sure to encourage all the aspiring musicians in the audience. 

 

“Keep dreaming that dream, they do come true,” Cody said. 



Next up was the writer’s round, featuring Galyon, Gorley and Lindsey. 

 

Between the three of them, they’ve written hit country songs like “Tequila,” “Sand In My Boots,” “Jesus, Take The Wheel,” and “You Should Probably Leave.” 

 

The three artists emphasized the disciplines of patience and creating small, realistic goals and fulfilling them. 

 


Closing out the first half of the show was country legend and 25-year Opry member Trisha Yearwood. 

 

Strutting on stage in a hot pink blazer, Yearwood performed her hit songs “Wrong Side of Memphis,” “Put It In A Song” and “She’s in Love with the Boy.” 



Kicking off the second half of the show was up-and-comer Hailey Whitters.  

 

Whitters brought Lindsey and Yearwood back on stage for two of her songs. 



Munsick came on next and brought some extra country to his set. 

 

After his set, the crowd was expecting Tyler Hubbard next but were instead surprised by another country legend. 

 

Audience members sitting on the opposite side of the stage to where Cody stood could see a big, bright white hat sticking out of the back corner of the stage, and anticipation grew. 

 

The crowd knew it could only be one person. 



Brad Paisley strolled on to the stage and was met with a standing ovation before playing songs from his catalogue.  

 

Paisley echoed a similar sentiment to artists that performed earlier in the show. 

 

“I wouldn’t be here without Belmont,” Paisley said. 

 

Once again earning another standing ovation as he left the stage, Paisley was followed by Hubbard. 


 

Hubbard, one half of Florida Georgia Line, shared his Belmont story with the audience. 

 

He said that he didn’t know he could be a performer until the end of his college career. But once he applied himself, his career began to grow. 

 

Hubbard told the audience that even when you feel like you’re not the most talented, you’ll follow the path you’re supposed to. 

 

“If you keep pushing, eventually you’ll make it,” Hubbard said. “I’m proud to be a Belmont alum.” 


This article was written by Abby Thomas. Photos were captured by Abby Thomas and Joanna Walden




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Irene Jane
Irene Jane
May 21

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Colby Adkins
Colby Adkins
Apr 16

She graduated from Belmont in 2019 and said that she owes a lot of her success to the school.  Dordle

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Steele Nickle
Steele Nickle
Apr 15

Brad Paisley strolled on to the stage and was met with a standing ovation before playing songs from his catalogue.  

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