In 2001, Josh Turner stood inside the Grand Ole Opry circle for the first time where he earned a standing ovation for his debut single “Long Black Train.” Six years later Turner would become a member of the Opry and become one of its most popular performers.
In early 2016, the handsome singer shared the Opry stage with his wife’s 98-year old grandmother, Lois Cunningham. With numerous family and friends in attendance to witness her Opry debut, Cunningham took a seat behind the piano.
“She’s going to play when she’s ready,” Turner said as he introduced her.
As Lois began to play the age-old hymn “How Great Thou Art,” the crowd erupted with applause. Cunningham’s hands glided over the keys as the audience listened in awe, knowing that they were witnessing a very special moment.
As Cunningham’s performance concluded, everyone rose to their feet as she waved and blew kisses to the audience, making for one of the most beautiful and touching moments of the night.
Lois’s Opry performance became one of the most popular videos of 2016. But, Turner admitted in an interview that the performance almost didn’t happen.
“My wife asked me that afternoon about the possibility of her playing on the Opry that night,” he said. “And I was like ‘no way, don’t even think about asking [Opry General Manager] Pete [Fisher].‘”
But, it was Fisher who asked Turner’s wife, Jennifer, if Lois would play during Josh’s Opry set.
As Jennifer helped Lois to her seat behind the piano, she was excited but didn’t know what to play. Jennifer suggested a hymn and that’s when Lois chose to play “How Great Thou Art.”
Watch Lois Cunningham’s impressive piano performance of “How Great Thou Art” in the video below.
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