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Inside ERNEST’s Ryman Auditorium Doubleheader: From the Surprises to the Special Guests (Exclusive)

by Sarah Michaud | People

Everyone from Keith Urban to Morgan Wallen popped in to celebrate the “Flower Shops” singer/songwriter’s two sold-out shows at the Mother Church in his hometown of Nashville earlier this week. After amassing over 1 billion artist career streams, ERNEST paid it forward, partnering with MAPCO to present Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee with a check for $10,000 on Giving Tuesday.

Taking It In

Ernest at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, TN

PHOTO: COREY MILLER

ERNEST steps onstage at the Ryman for the first of two hometown shows on Nov. 28 and 29, where he performed songs like “Flower Shops,” “This Fire,” “Miss That Girl” and new single “Kiss of Death.”

Hometown Hero

Ernest at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, TNPHOTO: COREY MILLER

“What a year we’ve had everybody,” ERNEST, 31, told the crowd. “As a Nashville kid, there is no more sacred ground than standing on the Ryman Auditorium stage. I can’t ever thank everyone who has supported us over the past few years enough. This is an unbelievable feeling to play here tonight.”

HARDY

Ernest and Hardy at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, TN

PHOTO: COREY MILLER

HARDY joined ERNEST in a performance of “More Than My Hometown,” a song they wrote with Morgan Wallen that became a huge hit for the artist.

Keith Urban

Ernest and Keith Urban at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, TN

PHOTO: COREY MILLER

ERNEST and Keith Urban made their guitars sing with a cover of John Mayer‘s fan-favorite tune “Slow Dancing in a Burning Room.”

Signed, Sealed, Delivered

Ernest at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, TN

PHOTO: COREY MILLER

In a personal note, ERNEST dedicated the pair of shows to his and wife Delaney Royer’s 2½-year-old son Ryman Saint, whose named was inspired by the Nashville landmark.

Charles Kelley

ERNEST and Charles Kelley at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, TN

PHOTO: COREY MILLER

Charles Kelley of Lady A popped up to help out on ERNEST’s “Songs We Used to Sing,” which they wrote together.

Jelly Roll

Ernest and Jelly Roll at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, TN

PHOTO: COREY MILLER

Jelly Roll made an appearance to perform his hit “Son of a Sinner,” which he co-wrote with ERNEST.

Pass the Mic

Ernest at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, TN

PHOTO: COREY MILLER

Audience participation was more than welcome!

Dean Dillon

Ernest and Dean Dillon at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, TN

PHOTO: COREY MILLER

Dean Dillon’s feature on “What Have I Got to Lose” came to life on stage with ERNEST.

Milestone Moment

Ernest and Morgan Wallen Plaque Presentation at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, TN

PHOTO: COREY MILLER

Close friend Wallen surprised his pal with a plaque as he announced their song “Flower Shops” is now certified double platinum — and the crowd celebrated with a standing ovation.

Morgan Wallen

Ernest and Morgan Wallen at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, TN

PHOTO: COREY MILLER

Grammy nominee Wallen then grabbed a guitar and jumped in, performing “Flower Shops” and “Cowgirls” with ERNEST.