Black Opry Icons
Black Opry Icons is a program which honors those who are doing and have done foundational work that supports our mission and the advancement of the industry and those who make the incredible art that makes our work possible. In the face of an industry that is insistent upon keeping doors closed and refusing to offer recognition to those who represent a more diverse landscape, we realize the importance of creating our own opportunities to honor these faces.
While we are excited about the work we have done and continue to do, we must recognize that we are not the first to do this work. We happily follow a beaten path, carved out by many who came before us, including two very special artists and organizers Frankie Staton and Cleve Francis.
In the 1990s Frankie and Cleve, along with the help and support of their peers, created the Black Country Music Association in much of the same spirit that the Black Opry was later founded in 2021. In addition to doing the work of being artists, they took on the burden of advocating for other black artists trying to be seen and heard in the country music industry.
It is our honor and privilege to acknowledge their lifetime efforts and achievements by inducting both Frankie and Cleve as the inaugural recipients of the Black Opry Icon recognition.
Members of The Black Opry
Black Opry Members are Black artists creating country, Americana, folk, Blues and roots music that we have identified as having superiors talent and experience. Black Opry members are carefully chosen by the Black Opry team. Members are artists that we feel represent the mission of the Black Opry and uplift the community around them. New members will be announced quarterly beginning March 1, 2023. Membership is by invitation only.