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Surprise! Rascal Flatts invited to join Opry

Surprise! Rascal Flatts invited to join Opry

September 28th, 2011 by CHRIS TALBOTT, AP Entertainment Writer in News

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Country music supergroup Rascal Flatts is the latest member of the Grand Ole Opry.

The trio was surprised with the news Tuesday night during their performance on the Opry. Twenty-year Opry member Vince Gill made an unscheduled appearance, interrupting singer Gary LeVox, bassist Jay DeMarcus and guitarist Joe Don Rooney mid-performance.

The men had tears in their eyes and the crowd gave them a standing ovation.

Rascal Flatts is the top-selling country group of the last decade. The trio joins a recent slate of longtime stars invited to join, including Blake Shelton and The Oak Ridge Boys.

Opry membership is among the highest honors for a country musician. It comes with an ambassador-like commitment to the history of the genre and a requirement to perform at least 10 times a year.