updated 10/24/2010 AT 4:45 PM ET
•originally published 10/24/2010 AT 5:00 PM ET
His famous fiancée Miranda Lambert couldn’t make it, but Blake Shelton’s mama, daddy, sister – and 4,000 fans – celebrated the singer as he became the newest member of the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville on Saturday night.
Shelton opened the iconic American program with “It’s All About Tonight,” then came back later to join buddy Trace Adkins on their duet “Hillbilly Bone.”
“I don’t have a whole lot of friends in this business because I tell people what I think,” said Adkins, who presented his pal with the honor. “I tell Blake what I think and he don’t care. He still talks to me.”
Added Adkins: “It means the world to me to say Blake Shelton, you’re the newest member of the Grand Ole Opry!”
An emotional Shelton – who put on a necktie for the special occasion – held the bronze-and-oak Opry Member Award and struggled to express how profound the honor was to him.
“This is the reason you come to Nashville if you’re me. This is what I wanted from the beginning, to make a mark,” he said. “I get the same feeling walking into the Opry House as I do when I see one of my heroes. The Grand Ole Opry is an artist, and I am proud to be one of its songs.”
Shelton closed the show with his ballad “Home.” His new greatest hits album, Loaded: The Best of Blake Shelton, will be released Nov. 9.