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Caitlyn Smith Makes Grand Ole Opry Debut at The Ryman


Caitlyn Smith made her Grand Ole Opry debut to an emotional full house at the Historic Ryman Auditorium on Saturday (November 5) in Nashville.

The “bucket list moment” was one Smith had dreamed of since she began her musical career as a young teen, choosing to use her college fund to finance her first album. In the audience, Smith’s father watched his daughter, along with her husband Rollie Gaalswyk on guitar and producer Paul Moak on bass, make her debut on the stage where so many of Smith’s idols have stood before her. 

“We have visited Nashville many, many times over the years, but this is our first show at the Opry,” noted Smith’s father. “Caitlyn has always wanted our first Opry experience to be her Opry debut, because she knew she would be on this stage one day.” 

“It was an absolute dream come true to step onto the Ryman stage AND make my debut at the Grand Ole Opry on the same night,” said Caitlyn Smith. “There’s something holy about that place and you can feel it in the air. A night I will never forget for the rest of my life.”

Smith was recently inducted into the 2016 class of CMT’s Next Women of Country, which has included Brandy Clark, Sheryl Crow and Kacey Musgraves in past years. Smith’s songwriting credits include Hot AC No. 1 “Like I’m Gonna Lose You” (Meghan Trainor and John Legend) and the RIAA-Certified Platinum song, “Wasting All These Tears” (Cassadee Pope). She’s received cuts by Nashville icons including Garth Brooks, Dolly Parton, Kenny Rogers and more.

Since releasing five tracks from her upcoming album Starfire, Smith has garnered more than 5 million streams on Spotify and has been tapped by Bobby Bones to tour with the Raging Idiots this fall.  

Photo courtesy of Chris Hollo/Grand Ole Opry

Written by Juliet Schroder

Juliet is the founder and executive producer/host of Celeb Secrets and Celeb Secrets Country. When not reporting on the latest news in pop culture and country music, she enjoys traveling, spending time with friends and family, and exploring the latest fashion trends.

Juliet holds a B.S. in marketing from St. John's University.

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