“It’s opportunities like the one that the Opry gave me that make it all worth it and make me feel like things are starting to look up,” the rising country star says. “That’s a great feeling”
William Beckmann has long come to rely on Parker McCollum. Certainly, the two rising country artists have much in common, from their Texas roots to their dedication to making the music that comes from their soul. And now, they also share another special similarity.
They both have played the iconic Grand Ole Opry.
“[Parker] was the one that called me and told me that the Grand Ole Opry had invited me to play,” Beckmann, 27, tells PEOPLE mere days after his March 3 debut performance at the legendary venue. “I look at Parker as like a big brother and so I’m glad that he was the one that called me and broke the news.”
It’s a piece of news that Beckmann has long waited for, as the retro-looking artist delivering the brand-new sound has spent much of his life waiting for an opportunity such as this. “I come from a small town in Texas called Del Rio,” says Beckmann, who currently splits his time between homes in both Nashville and San Antonio. “Things like this don’t always happen to guys like me.”
As a new kid on the block, Beckmann was only awarded a two-song set from the Opry, but he certainly made quite the impression with the two songs he picked to perform.
“I did really try to pick them wisely,” Beckmann remembers of the songs he delivered beautifully at his Grand Ole Opry debut, captured in a series of pictures premiering exclusively on PEOPLE. “The first song was a song of mine that I wrote called ‘Bourbon Whiskey,’ which is a really traditional country song. It’s probably the most country thing that I have. It just felt right to be playing such an old-school country song on such an iconic stage.”