Kalie Shorr’s ‘Fight’ Takes Her to the Grand Ole Opry
There was a moment during Kalie Shorr's Grand Ole Opry debut over the weekend that is symbolic of how far she's come and how far she still has to go.
It came during after she performed her single "Awake," during her second song, the streaming and satellite radio hit "Fight Like a Girl." Shorr gave a shoutout to writers Hailey Steele and Lena Stone, and she heard Stone holler back from the crowd. They're best friends, reliable Monday night staples at the Song Suffragettes shows in Nashville and frequent collaborators. Stone's shout came from way back, “Cause woo! Opry tickets are pricey!”
Shorr laughs as she says this, and in fairness the Grand Ole Opry and the performers were beyond generous to her and her team on Saturday (March 31). Several stars like Lee Greenwood and Ricky Skaggs sought her out to say hello. Jeannie Seely even gave her a personal tour of the backstage area, and Shorr left feeling like she'd made a new lasting friendship. But when you're a young 20-something who hasn't "made it" (quotes meant to be ironic), you're not putting down the cash for a front row view.
Playing that song at the Grand Ole Opry was symbolic in its own way. It's a battle cry for women who've been minimized in music or life and it's still her personal anthem. Singing that song while standing in the circle was the epitome of a dream coming true.
“Just hearing ‘no’ over and over again from a lot of people," Shorr said afterward, reflecting on the last two years of her life, "there’s been times when I didn’t believe it and there’s been times where I played that song when I really needed to believe it and I did."
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On this night, with her mother in from Portland, Maine, Shorr embraced it. It was a defining moment for both of them, actually, and yes ... tears threatened to flood the Opry once again. After the show her mother would start telling stories as moms do, like how when she was pregnant and in church, Kalie would start kicking in the womb when the music played.
"She’s a single mom and I grew up in an interesting part of town, really low income and we both have just ... I feel like I learned how to hustle from her,” Shorr admits. "To have this much of a victory feels like a touchdown and having her there … I mean, just had to do it."
Wearing a light pink dress and heels, Shorr left glitter wherever she went backstage after her performance, which was fitting on a night that she'd surely agree was magical. Onstage she did her best to soak in the moment, looking every fan in the eye and trying in in earnest to memorize what people told her. The whirlwind few hours wrapped after she talked to Taste of Country, but before her afterparty at a nearby bar.
On Monday, it was back to work with a #LetTheGirlsPlay show, because while one bucket list item has been crossed off, there are many more to go.
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