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October 29, 2023 4 min read 2 Comments

This past weekend, a legendary lady we’re blessed to call a friend, the Grammy-winning gravel-voiced goddess, the one and only Tanya Mother Tucker was awarded her well-earned spot in the Country Music Hall of Fame.

While our trio of fearless femmes (the McMullen sisters) had to stay put in the Lone Star State for various reasons, DDR was still well-represented for the weekend, with our nearest and dearest Mitchell Franz and Kristen Schley serving as our ambassadors for the momentous event in Music City. They shared with us a little snapshot of how it went.

Friday night, Tanya's friends hosted an exclusive and intimate dinner at Giovanni’s, one of her very favorite restaurants in Nashville, and we were lucky enough to make the limited guest list. They served a themed pre fixe menu featuring Tanya’s favorite dish as the main course, a delicious tiramisu, and a custom limoncello shot. Ever the MC, Mitchell gave a short, touching speech, followed by Tanya (clad in the Speaks With Elders Dress) thanking everyone for coming and for their support. There was a beautiful ambiance of piano music and the love in the room was just palpable.

Speaking of love filling the room, when we returned to the hotel, Tanya and her longtime beau Craig Dillingham shared the sweetest dance in the lobby to their song, “I Won’t Mention It Again” by Ray Price, swaying and softly serenading one another. It was evident in that moment those two were the only people on earth, and those of us who happened to be sideline spectators of such a core memory in the making sure had a hard time keeping the mist out of our eyes!

Saturday’s main focus was the photoshoot. As part of the whole celebration and commemoration of Tanya’s induction, she was photographed horseback (on Lauwel, who isn’t one of her own horses, but she declares is one of her very favorites) in front of the Country Music Hall of Fame, donning the glitzy and glamorous Hay Babies Jacket and Hay Babies Chaps like the absolute rockstar she is. [Can we just pause here for a second and to reflect and really appreciate the reality that DDR is going to be immortalized alongside her in this moment and photographs that will live on indefinitely? Surreal.] And then, Tanya Tucker did what Tanya Tucker does* and wanted to take this party down to Broadway – the entire photoshoot, the whole team, horse and all! So, our magic-makers, Kristen and Mitchell did some sweet-talking of security guards and before you know it, we had our girl horseback on the hottest strip in Nashville on a Saturday night. Naturally, the curiosity was piqued and we had to keep the throngs of fans and booze-fueled bachelorettes at bay in order to get a few good pics in front of Tootsie’s, but then the always-gracious Tanya indulged a few fans with autographs and selfies and likely made their whole month.

And then Sunday was *THE* day! Kristen got to be in the room with her while she was getting ready. Unlike the Grammys, it wasn’t a hustle and bustle, there was really no one in the room, and when it became evident Tanya was starting to succumb to the nerves a little, darling Craig pulled out his guitar and began to sing to her. (Awww!) Speaking of getting ready, we really need to take a second to give a HUGE shoutout to our amazing design team who pulled together that star-studded, crystal-encrusted suit on such short notice!

When it came time for the event, Tanya (of course) looked like a million bucks and headed out to secure her well-earned place in country music history alongside fellow singer Patty Loveless and songwriter Bob McDill as the 2023 inductees of the Country Music Hall of Fame. While the honorees were behind closed doors doing their private prep for the ceremony, we got to swoon and be starstruck in the mingling area with the likes of Travis Tritt and his wife Theresa – who is a big fan of DDR, by the way! – and Terri Clark, Vince Gill, Jessie Colter, Bob Seager, and “too many names to mention”. (We will mention, though, for our Real Housewives fans, that Carey Deuber and her husband Mark were there, too.)

The annual Medallion Ceremony, during which the inductees are honored, takes place in the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum’s CMA Theater, and is much more exclusive than you might envision. Each honoree is only allowed 100 guests, which makes our inclusion in that limited list all the more meaningful, compounded by the fact that Tanya actually took the time to specifically shout us out in her speech! Vocal powerhouse Wynona Judd honored her by singing “Delta Dawn”, followed by burgeoning badass Brandi Carlile performing “Two Sparrows in a Hurricane” and giving a speech (that also mentioned DDR, by the way) addressing her lifelong awe of Tanya Tucker and congratulating her well-earned (and arguably overdue) induction. It was surreal, to say the least.

“It was literally like a dream come true,” gushed Kristen. “Easily one of the best weekends of my life, and one I will never forget.”

They say to never meet your heroes, they’ll only let you down. Well, we disagree. Meet them, befriend them, support them and cheer them on to long overdue accolades, and then share in those celebrations.

Our endless admiration and resounding congratulations goes out to our dear friend, Ms. Tanya Tucker!

2 Responses

Cynthia Stagg
Cynthia Stagg

October 31, 2023

You are a blessing to all of your DDR Sisters and fans. Congratulations for this wonderful Prestigious inductions. You looked amazing and spook so well from your heart. One of these days if I am so blessed I will meet you in person. Until then I I will cheer you own from a distance and say God bless you and lead you. By the way, I have never seen anything more majestic than you in your stunning white on your gorgeous black horse. A picture I will carry close to my heart forever along with your soul reaching voice. Loving you from SW Louisiana. Cynthia Stagg ( Stagg Quarterhourses established 1905)

Wilmuth
Wilmuth

October 31, 2023

I loved reading the exciting time you all had. I felt I was there. You all were star guests ! I loved pictures, you explaining, the gorgeous black horse carrying Hall of Famer Tanya Tuck! WOW Thank You

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