Country stars were heartbroken to learn Monday that the mecca of their music, The Grand Ole Opry House, was hit by floodwaters that washed over the city and are concerned about how much damage was done to the landmark.
The stage is of particular concern. At the center is a circle made of floorboards cut from the old stage at the Opry's former home of Ryman Auditorium. It's considered by many to be the heart of country music.
"As a country singer, there is only one place you dream of playing in your lifetime, and that is the Grand Ole Opry House," singer Blake Shelton said in an e-mail. "Standing on center stage in the 6-foot circle of wood cut from the stage of the Ryman is something I never take for granted. The history and legacy of that circle is awe-inspiring."
Grand Ole Opry member Dierks Bentley canceled a couple of shows over the weekend for the first time in his career to take care of flooding at his house, which paled in comparison, he said.
"We've all been affected by it," Bentley said of the flooding. "There's devastation all over the city. But to see the Grand Ole Opry affected, that just really hit home for me, even more than having water in my house."