This past Saturday night, Keith Urban became the first artist outside of North America to become a member of the Grand Ole Opry.

The New Zealand-born, Australia-raised artist was inducted into the Opry family on stage in Nashville by Opry members Trace Adkins and Josh Turner. After Urban performed on stage, Adkins presented him with his Opry Member Award and made membership official. Keith said, “Thank you very much! Yee haw! That is awesome!”

After his many thank you’s, like his father and wife and daughters, Urban said, “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.”

1432381571 Keith Urban’s Special Grand Ole Opry Night

Royce DeGrie/Getty Images

Backstage, Keith told reporters, “Like a lot of artists, I get cards and notes and letters and stories in the meet-and-greets of how the music affects them, how the songs touch something in their life and the stories. They often are sort of saying, ‘You just don’t know how much that means to me.’ And this opportunity for me is a way to say they don’t know how much they mean to me. For all of those things that connect with them, they’re why I do what I do. And the simplest explanation for that is, look how big the stage is compared to how big that area is out there. That’s proportionally how important they are to what we do.”


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, he used the same knife to cut the Fender-shaped guitar cake. Keith quipped, “I just got this knife tonight and already I’ve used it to screw in a plaque and cut a cake.”

Jason Raithel / 99.5 WYCD / CBS Local


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