Thirty-four years ago today (April 22, 1989), Clint Black achieved a huge career milestone. It was on that date that the singer made his debut on the Grand Ole Opry, just as his first single, "A Better Man," from his freshman album, Killin' Time, was climbing the charts.

The New Jersey native clearly left a favorable impression at the famed venue. Only two years later, Black was invited to become a member of the Opry, less than a year after his sophomore album, Put Yourself in My Shoes, was released.

The singer, who still enjoys performing at the Opry, admits that he always gets nostalgic before he takes the famous stage: “Walking out into the halls and getting your picture taken and people wanting autographs," he notes. "You see all the people that you know, and you also see fans. It’s that crazy feeling you get -- there’s excitement backstage at the Opry.”

Black has released more than 20 studio and compilation albums, which collectively have sold in excess of 20 million copies. He returned to the Grand Ole Opry House in 2014 to help celebrate the acclaimed hall's 40th anniversary, along with Blake Shelton, Miranda Lambert, Bill Anderson and Josh Turner. In February of 2019, Black also performed at the storied venue alongside his friend Steve Wariner, as well as up-and-comers Carly Pearce and Michael Ray.

This story was originally written by Gayle Thompson, and revised by Annie Zaleski.

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