Keith Urban was inducted into the Grand Ole Opry family last weekend by Opry members Trace Adkins and Josh Turner.
On stage after Urban had performed his hits “Days Go By” and “Without You,” Adkins presented him with his Opry Member Award and made membership official. “Thank you very much! Yee haw! That is awesome!” Urban began. After thanking the Opry’s members, his parents (who “got me into country music and drove me around to all the gigs”), his wife and daughters, and his fans, among many others, the superstar born in New Zealand and raised in Australia continued, “it’s a long way from Caboolture [Queensland, Australia] to the stage here at the Grand Ole Opry … and to stand in this circle is the most phenomenal thing. I just want to thank the Opry for this honor, but also the responsibility. This is a responsibility that I take deep to the heart of me. …This once and for all shows the global popularity and reach of country music. … I honor the history of country music, but I absolutely fully dedicate myself to the future of country music, as well. God bless you all.”
After the induction Urban added his name plaque to the Member Gallery backstage at the Opry by using a pocketknife given to him by Opry member Marty Stuart. Later during an after show reception, Urban used the same knife to cut the Fender-shaped guitar cake. Urban quipped, “I just got this knife tonight and already I’ve used it to screw in a plaque and cut a cake.”
Footage of the induction can be seen at opry.com.
The induction aired on the sneak-peek episode of “Noteworthy at the Opry” on GAC: Great American Country. This evening’s show will re-air on Sun., April 22 at 1:00 a.m., 11:00 a.m., and 6:00 p.m. ET; Wed., April 25, 9:00 p.m. ET; and Thurs., April 26, 1:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. ET. The 16-episode series will return late next month featuring musical performances and personal stories from the top acts in country music plus interviews with other celebrities about the artists and music featured in each episode. “Noteworthy at the Opry” is sponsored by Dish Network.
To continue the celebration, fans can visit Keith Urban on Facebook and share their favorite moments from his career for a chance to win a Nashville experience including visits to some of the Music City places Urban loves most including the Opry, the Ryman Auditorium, Bluebird Café, a favorite restaurant, and more.
In 2001, the Country Music Association honored Keith Urban with its Horizon Award, designating him a talented artist with a bright future. He is the first Horizon Award winner in history to go on to win the CMA’s Male Vocalist of the Year, a title he’s captured three times, and the coveted Entertainer of the Year. More than 15 million albums later, Keith is a four-time Grammy Award winner, who has also won a People’s Choice and American Music Award. He’s won five Academy of Country Music Awards, had 14 #1s, including 28 Top 5 hits. His latest CD, Get Closer, comes on the heels of his fifth consecutive platinum or multi-platinum release. It has produced three consecutive #1s, “You Gonna Fly”, “Long Hot Summer” and “Without You”.
In 2009, Urban was named radio’s most played country artist, thanks to #1 hits such as “Sweet Thing,” “You’ll Think Of Me,” “Only You Can Love Me This Way,” “Better Life” and “Days Go By.” In addition, his 2002 smash “Somebody Like You” was named the #1 Country Song of the Decade by Nielsen BDS (based on radio airplay and audience impressions).
But Urban’s reputation as an elite songwriter, musician, vocalist and virtuoso guitarist is no more evident than when he is onstage. His electrifying concerts have played to sold-out venues from Australia to Germany to England to Canada and the United States, all while receiving high praise from critics. In fact, 2009’s Escape Together World Tour, as well as 2007’s Love, Pain & The Whole Crazy World Tour, were both, according to Pollstar, one of the top grossing tours for their respective years. Last year, his Get Closer 2011 World Tour solidified Urban as one of the music industry’s best live performers. As one accredited journalist put it, “Urban is one of the best reasons in the world to attend a live concert.”