While accepting the award in Louisville Thursday night, fellow bluegrass musicians Ricky Skaggs and Sonny Osborne popped the question to him.
"What are you doing on Oct. 25? On that night, how would you like to become a member of the Grand Ole Opry?" they asked.
The banjo-playing tenor received a standing ovation when he accepted.
"Del McCoury will be a wonderful addition to our esteemed roster of Opry members," said Pete Fisher, Opry vice president and general manager. "In addition to the significant contribution he has made to bluegrass music, Del has a big heart for the Opry and its performers, as evidenced by his numerous appearances as a guest performer."
McCoury has spent six decades in bluegrass, including a stint in Bill Monroe's Bluegrass Boys.