Tanya Tucker made a triumphant — and historic — entrance onto Nashville’s Grand Ole Opry stage Friday evening (June 2), as she was seated astride a black Friesian Stallion named Lauwe the Magnificent to sing her opening song during the broadcast.
According to Grand Ole Opry historians, it is believed to be the first time a horse has been ridden onstage during a Grand Ole Opry broadcast in the show’s 97-year history.
On horseback, the Country Music Hall of Fame inductee-elect opened her set with “Kindness,” from her just-released album, Sweet Western Sound. The remainder of her set included another duo of selections from the project — “The List” and “When the Rodeo Is Over” — and such classics as “Delta Dawn,” “Texas (When I Die)” and “Strong Enough to Bend,” the latter of which saw her joined by illustrious bluegrass duo Dailey & Vincent and Pam Tillis, who was inducted as an Opry member in 2000.
Tucker rode the same stallion that she previously guided through the streets of Nashville in early April, just hours after the revelation that she had been named as a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame, and the announcement of her two headlining shows at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium, slated for June 3-4.
The Opry event happened courtesy of a team that worked to make the moment possible, including Tucker’s management team, Lauwe the Magnificent’s owner Annika Bruggeworth (of Kentucky’s Siren Song Stables), and the Grand Ole Opry’s executive producer Dan Rogers.
Tucker’s horseback entrance is also on-brand for the singer-songwriter, who has long been known for her passion for horses. The cover of her new album, Sweet Western Sound, features a horse, while the cover of her previous Grammy-winning project, While I’m Livin’, also features Tucker on horseback.
In early April, Tucker was bestowed with one of country music’s highest honors, as she was named as a 2023 inductee into the Country Music Hall of Fame, alongside Patty Loveless and songwriter Bob McDill. A formal induction ceremony will take place this fall.