Lauren Alaina is officially the next member of the Grand Ole Opry. The singer was surprised onstage on Saturday night (Dec. 18) with an invitation by her mentor and musical hero, Trisha Yearwood.

Alaina had no idea what was coming as she prepared to take the stage for a special Opry Christmas show, alongside acts like Ricky Skaggs, Ingrid Andress and Jeannie Seely. Backstage as she was preparing for her set, the singer appeared on the Opry's Instagram stories, saying that she was excited to be performing Brenda Lee's "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree" and adding that her Christmas wish this year is to become a Grand Ole Opry member in 2022.

Christmas came early for the singer: Onstage, surrounded by festive Christmas decor, Alaina got the surprise of a lifetime when Yearwood walked out and asked her to be a member. Overcome by emotion, Alaina knelt to touch the legendary circle on the stage's floor.

"What words can I use to convey what this means to me?" she wrote on Instagram after the fact. "The [Opry] is the most magical place on earth. It takes my breath away every single time I step out on that stage. It has been my biggest dream of my career to become an official member of the Opry family."

She went on to address Yearwood directly, saying, "thank you for being a part of my special night. I will NEVER forget that you were the one to ask me."

It's no secret that Yearwood is one of the artists Alaina looks up to the most, and they've worked together multiple times in the past. Alaina's "Getting Good" includes a feature from Yearwood, and the superstar also wrote the forward to Alaina's newly-released book, Getting Good at Being You: Learning to Love Who God Made You to Be.

It's been a dynamic year for Alaina, who got her start as the runner-up contestant on American Idol's 10th season. Writing and releasing her book showed off a new skill set, and she also flexed her acting chops, starring in the Hallmark film Roadhouse Romance. She still found plenty of time to further her musical career, though: Her third studio album, Sitting Pretty on Top of the World, arrived in September.

Early in December, Alaina also revealed plans for her headlining Top of the World Tour, which will launch in February 2022.

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