Jake Hoot has been invited to play a lot of venues since winning season 17 of “The Voice” in December.
COOKEVILLE – A 2013 graduate of Tennessee Tech, Hoot sang the national anthem at a Carolina Panthers football game and at the NHL’s Winter Classic hockey game in Dallas. He also came home to Cookeville and played a free concert in front of his hometown fans at the Hooper Eblen Center. But there is one place Hoot has always dreamed of playing that he has never had the chance until now — the Grand Ole Opry.
“People have asked me if there was a special stage you could play on, what would it be?” said Hoot. “For me, that’s an easy answer. It’s the Grand Ole Opry.”
Hoot’s dream to play the Opry is going to come true on Feb. 4. Hoot received a surprise invitation by Jamie Dailey of Dailey & Vincent to play the Opry, bringing the 6-foot-6, 31-year-old to tears.
“To get the invitation from Jamie Dailey and to get to play the Opry on Feb. 4, is something really special,” said Hoot. “I cried when I got the invitation and I’m sure I will cry that night. It’s a historical place.”
Hoot will join fellow Tech alumni Rodney Atkins and Dottie West to play the Opry in Nashville.
“You look up at that circle and imagine all the stories and the people who have played there,” said Hoot. “I’m very grateful, humbled and honored to get to play there and I’m looking forward to it.”
In spite of his overnight success, Hoot has stayed the same humble and genuine person he was while playing football at Tennessee Tech.
“When you recognize that it is all blessings from God and that He makes it all happen, it’s hard to take credit for that,” said Hoot. “From being born in Texas, to growing up overseas, to coming back and walking on a college football team, having a beautiful little girl, and of course everything with ‘The Voice,’ and now getting to play the Opry, the explanation is God. He makes everything possible. I’m just excited He has allowed me to enjoy these blessings. I’m excited about what the future holds.”
The future looks bright for Hoot, who has appeared on national talk shows and has several more appearances lined up over the next few months. He says he plans to be the opening act for some country artists, and he is working on recording a new album.
“More than anything else, I’m writing a lot and trying to get a lot of songs under my belt,” said Hoot. “Whenever we start making the album, we will have a lot of songs to choose from. I’m playing a lot of shows here and there, where anyone will have me, and I’ll just go from there.”
Tickets for Hoot’s appearance at the Grand Ole Opry are still available. For more information on Jake Hoot, go to https://www.jakehoot.com/.