Exclusive: Mark Wills Preps Opry Induction

What makes Marks Wills’ music timeless is he knows that anyone will fall for a good story. He continues to perform songs that set the scene and takes listeners on journeys that span years in seconds; like he does in the Romeo and Juliet setup in the romance that plays out in his 1996 breakout hit, “Jacob’s Ladder.”

“I think the art of storytelling was huge back then,” Wills tells CMT.com of ‘90s country music. “I think if you get down to it, that’s what country music fans want now. I think they want to get back to great stories.”

Wills also believes his solid storytelling songs such as “I Do (Cherish You),” “19 Somethin’,” and “Back at One” are what got him an invitation to the Grand Ole Opry. He will be formally inducted tonight (Jan. 11) at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium.

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“I am so glad that they waited until this time in my career,” Wills adds. “I think as a young person, I would have been honored to have been an Opry member, but I think as we season in our lives things become more important to us. They become more treasured.

“It was a whirlwind back at the beginning of my career. As I look back on my career, and I look back on the hits that I’ve had, and as I’m embraced by the Opry family by being their newest member, I think it makes me more appreciative of it today than it would have if I were a 24-year-old kid.”

Wills is working on new music that will be released later in the year.

“There is a big influx of ‘90s-inspired music out there, and I do feel honored to have been a big part of that,” Wills says. “So, what I’m looking at doing today is revitalizing that ‘90s country sound with 2019 production.”

Lauren Tingle is a Tennessean and storyteller who eats music for breakfast, lunch and dinner. When she’s not writing or rocking out, she enjoys yoga and getting lost in the great outdoors.