It’s been 15 years since Carrie Underwood officially became a Grand Ole Opry member on May 10, 2008, and she marked the occasion with two special shows on Saturday night (May 13.)
Backstage, the Opry recognized Underwood’s milestone with a nine-tier cupcake cake, topped with two tiers of full cake that read “15” and “Carrie.” The singer also received a plaque to commemorate the anniversary.
But perhaps the most special gift of all was a bouquet of flowers from the singer’s fans, who go by “the CareBears,” and who also made a $250 donation to Underwood’s C.A.T.S. foundation in honor of the anniversary. The C.A.T.S. foundation benefits causes in Underwood’s hometown of Checotah, Okla., including providing resources for the public school system, furnishing playground equipment and establishing a pet shelter that emphasizes a spay and neuter program.
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After the festivities concluded, Underwood hopped on social media to post a carousel of photos from the special night and express her gratitude to all those who acknowledged and celebrated the milestone.
“Happy anniversary to me!!!!” she wrote. “It’s been a magical 15 years of being an [Opry] member! It remains one of the greatest accomplishments of my career!!!! Thanks to all who came out to celebrate! I truly feel honored…and loved!”
Among the photos Underwood posted were a couple of snapshots of herself and the stars in attendance at the Grand Ole Opry that night, including Deana Carter and actor Susan Lucci, the latter of whom Underwood met that night for the very first time. “What a sweet and gorgeous (and legendary) woman!” The singer commented.