Leave it to Michael Ray to choose one of the most special and magical places to celebrate his No. 1 single “The One That Got Away.”
Gathering at the Grand Ole Opry with friends, family, songwriters, and of course fiancé and fellow country star Carly Pearce on Tuesday (July 23), the venue has a special place in Ray’s heart, as his grandfather Amos, who inspired his sophomore album, was the first to teach him of its significance.
Speaking with PopCulture.com in 2018, Ray says, “[my grandfather] is the one that taught me the significance of the Grand Ole Opry and what it means to country music, and why it is what it is. He said, ‘I don’t know how you get there from Eustace, Florida, but hopefully you can get there one day.'”
Ray did get there one day, as he made his Opry debut in 2015 with his grandfather’s guitar two months after his passing. With over 40 appearances under his belt, the country breakout knew that he had to celebrate his third number one single in a place that meant so much to him.
“It’s one of those things you always shoot for. That’s why you put out a song… you want it to go all the way to the top and that’s not always the case. For me to be able to have a third No. 1 coming from a family that played music and had dreams of moving to Nashville themselves who then allowed me to chase those dreams and backed me, it’s kind of surreal,” Ray says.
He continues, “A lot of people go into making a number one happen; it’s not just me that gets this day. It’s a lot of people. They’re not easy ever and it’s probably harder now than it has been for years so this one means a little more.”
Learning the song had stolen the top spot while in Las Vegas for the 54th ACM Awards, Ray admits he was unsure whether or not it would make it due to Luke Combs hit “Beautiful Crazy,” which sat at number one for 6 weeks. That immediately changed, however, as he had fallen in love with “The One That Got Away” from the the moment he first heard it.
“‘The One That Got Away’ came to us when I was finished with Amos, but I was still looking for something. We didn’t really get that live song that would also be a really big radio hit for us and those aren’t easy to write and they’re not easy to find, but this song had both of those things,” Ray tells Celeb Secrets Country backstage at the Opry. “I fell in love with it immediately, and I knew it was what I needed for my career, what my album needed, and what my live show needed.”
Aside from being an insanely talented musician, Ray was also praised for his impressive character by every person who’d taken the stage to speak.
“Celebrated my sweetheart’s third #1 at country radio last night,” wife-to-be Carly Pearce shared on Facebook. “I already am inspired by his work ethic, his talent and his ability to pick great songs, but the most proud moment for me was hearing every single person in the room say that he is THE nicest guy in the business with the biggest heart. Congrats, honey. ♥”
To learn more about Michael Ray’s song “The One That Got Away,” watch our interview from his No. 1 party below.
You can catch Michael Ray sing “The One That Got Away” while on Brantley Gilbert’s Not Like Us Tour all summer.