Black Lillies Frontman Cruz Contreras Basks in Opry Glow

The Back Lillies lived out a dream last weekend when they performed at the Grand Ole Opry, joining an elite list of East Tennessee artists who have played at country music's premier showcase. The Lillies now share the distinction with Dolly Parton, Chet Atkins, Roy Acuff, and Kenny Chesney.

"How in the world have we gotten to this point, just a couple of years into being a band?" says Lillies frontman Cruz Contreras. "I'm grateful—we've got some serious fans and people who believe in what we do. It's a high point for sure."

The band played to a sold-out audience of 4,000 fans on a bill that included Kellie Pickler and Ricky Skaggs. Contreras says two things stand out from the set: the professionalism of the production, and the mystique of the Opry stage.

"It takes your breath away," he says. "I told everybody, go out there and take a look a minute or two before we play."