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Urban benefit gig leads to Opry invite

Tuesday, April 10, 2012 – Keith Urban got a little bit more than he bargained for at his All for the Hall concert in Nashville tonight. The concert featured a bevy of stars with the goal of raising money for the Country Music Hall of Fame.

Urban also managed to get an invitation to join the Grand Ole Opry from Vince Gill. Urban will be inducted April 21. New Zealand-born and Australian-raised, Urban will be the first artist from outside North America to become an Opry member.

Near the end of tonight's show, Gill called Rascal Flatts back out on stage to bring a gift for Urban. As Urban opened a large black duffel bag revealing the Opry's signature microphone stand, Gill said, "We would like to invite Keith Urban to be the next member of the Grand Ole Opry."

Urban covered his face in surprise as he began, "I don't know what to say - but first, yes. Thank you very much to everybody at the Grand Ole Opry who made this possible. I'm shocked. How beautiful for this to happen tonight of all nights."

"I will always remember the first time I played the Opry," Urban continued, "Seeing this stand and standing in the circle was an extraordinarily surreal moment. So this right here is just a whole other stratosphere. Thank you from the bottom of my heart."

"We are extremely excited that another of today's most popular country music superstars will be joining our Opry family," said Opry Vice President and General Manager Pete Fisher. "Keith has become a master at forging a unique musical path and building an incredibly successful career. He generates amazing enthusiasm from fans every time he plays the Opry, and he continuously demonstrates the deep regard he has both for the Opry and the entire country music community."

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Graffiti U CD review - Graffiti U
It's telling how two songs on Keith Urban's "Graffiti U" album chug along to a reggae beat because pop rhythms and non-country elements are the obvious inspirations for this collection. Opener "Coming Home" may borrow (steal?) a guitar riff from Merle Haggard's "Mama Tried," but this is where that country road begins and ends. Urban follows "Coming Home" with "Never Comin' Down," which is introduced with a funky bass line »»»
Ripcord CD review - Ripcord
Even though Keith Urban's single, "Wasted Time," borrows more than a little sonic sensibility from electronic music, there's still an upfront banjo solo. And this is how it's always been with Urban. He may play the part of the guitar hero at times, and even revealed his eclectic musical knowledge as a judge on American Idol, but Urban will always be a country boy at heart. And boyish good looks and talent have taken this country boy far, too. The wonderfully titled »»»
Fuse CD review - Fuse
Keith Urban will keep his superstar status intact with the lengthy "Fuse." The upbeat, commercial- and fan-friendly music and singing from Urban will ensure that. This is pretty much vintage Urban. That means Urban's not very high on the country quotient. What sounds like a guitar on the rocking Good Thing and the somewhat swampy Red Camaro, for example, is Mike Elizondo's programming. Yes, there's gango (six-stringed banjo with guitar neck) sprinkled in many songs, but »»»
Editorial: Walking the talk – When names like Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Waylon and the Hag are invoked, you're talking hard core country. These are the touchstones of country , the guys who made country music what it was and still is (or maybe can be). When these folks would sing about being down-and-out and the rough-and-tumble, they knew of what they were singing about. Fast forward a few years to the country singers of today. »»»
Concert Review: Carlile brings thoughtfulness – Brandi Carlile returned to the GRAMMY Museum for the third time, and it's easy to see why she's always invited back. The evening began with GRAMMY Executive Scott Goldman interviewing Carlile on a pair of stuffed chairs, which was followed directly by a brief set of live songs. The interview portion was informative, while Carlile's... »»»
Concert Review: LSD tour provides a lot of highs – This was not your grandkids' country, that's for sure. Even the name of the tour - the LSD Tour - was a throwback (albeit far before the principals were making music). But make no mistake about it. With the ever cool country traditionalist Dwight Yoakam, the country with some rock and blues and rabble rousing of Steve Earle thrown in and the... »»»
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