On This Day: Faith Hill Makes Grand Ole Opry Debut in 1993

In the early ’90s, young Faith Hill was just a country music outsider with big dreams. That December, all that would change when Hill made her debut on the Grand Ole Opry stage. The Mississippi native gave her first performance on the sacred stage on Dec. 18, 1993.

Faith Hill’s Sidewinding Path to Opry Stage

Faith Hill’s path to fame wouldn’t be direct; instead, it was a twisting, roundabout route to stardom. Hill’s pursuit of country music success began when she left her hometown of Star, Miss., at 19 and moved to Nashville. Once she touched down in Music City, she landed a job as a receptionist working for country singer Gary Morris at his publishing company. She also sold T-shirts for Reba McEntire during her early years in Nashville. Despite working long hours and building connections within the industry, it would be six years before Hill got her recording contract.

In September of 1993, Hill dropped her debut single, “Wild One,” and three short months later, the single’s success pushed Hill into receiving her premiere slot on the Opry stage. On Dec. 18, just a few weeks before “Wild One” would reach the top of “Billboard’s Hot Country Singles” and “Tracks” chart, Hill would finally get the chance to step foot where so many of her idols came before her.

During the first four weeks of 1994, “Wild One” stayed a the top of the country charts. Hill’s next single, a cover of Janis Joplin’s “Piece of My Heart,” also reached No. 1. The fourth single and title song from Hill’s first album, “Take Me as I Am,” climbed to No. 2, and the album went on to sell three million copies.

Her determination and strong work ethic would establish Hill as one of the greatest female country artists in history.

Even though Hill has had a colossal career that includes five Grammy Awards, 15 Academy of Country Music Awards, six American Music Awards, and many others, she has never been recognized as a Grand Ole Opry member.