Attendees at Friday night’s graduation ceremony at Barrington High School in Barrington, Illinois, received an unexpected treat when the event brought out a surprise guest: country star Brad Paisley!
It all started when Paisley tweeted out a link to a contest last month, with students throughout the U.S. asked to reveal what they’re going to miss most about high school when they graduate.
What the Barrington High students didn’t realize was that they had won the contest — until the school’s principal took to the dais and showed the video entry the school had submitted.
“So I watched this video, and I couldn’t help but wonder: What would Brad Paisley say if he were giving this speech?” he said, at which point Paisley himself strode onstage.
“Can I have a tassel now?” joked Paisley. “That video that you guys made is amazing. I’m jealous,” he said. “We had a VCR at my school — you don’t even know what that is. That was the extent of our video department.”
“I’m going to play a couple songs for you before you go out and make the world a better place,” Paisley told the audience in the school auditorium before performing “Letter To Me,” “Today” and his new single “Last Time For Everything.”
Paisley also had some words of wisdom to offer the graduates. “My advice to you, as you go through life, is to enjoy the moments,” he said. Make memories, enjoy them and don’t take yourself too seriously. Go change the world, you all!”
Following the ceremony, Paisley tweeted out a link to the school’s winning video: