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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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Get Closer CD review - Get Closer
In a conversation with John Fogerty on CMT's "Crossroads" show, Keith Urban commented that his goal as a young man growing up was to have songs that people heard on the radio, and they would turn them up and sing along. Following that line of thinking, and the influence of catchy songwriters such as Fogerty, Urban continues to hit his mark on "Get Closer." The song quality is on par with past Urban releases; the musicianship, as is to be expected, is top notch. »»»
Defying Gravity CD review - Defying Gravity
Keith Urban's 2006 album, "Love, Pain & The Whole Crazy Thing" seemed to mirror his life in all its tabloid-baiting chaos, and you can only hope that 2009's "Defying Gravity" does the same. If this album is an indication, Urban has clearly put that chaos behind him, replacing it with the love and joy that comes from marriage and a new daughter. The 11 songs dance along, driven by joyful rhythms and guitar hooks. Even the one song that starts off like a kiss-off, »»»
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: Queen Taylor wears her crown well – When Taylor Swift brought Natalie Maines of Dixie Chicks on stage to sing "Goodbye Earl," it meant more than just another star guest, on an already celebrity-packed, five-night attendance record-breaking Los Angeles concert run. This duet also brought into clear focus the truth that Swift's huge success unintentionally fulfilled the... »»»
Concert Review: Mandolin Orange commands the room – Mandolin Orange presents a simple picture: two members, sharing fiddle, mandolin and guitar and two powerful voices. As Mandolin Orange, Emily Franz and Andrew Marlin command the room. The duo formed in Carrboro, N.C. a few years back, and have released an impressive series of CDs over the last few years, most recent "Such Jubilee" on Yep Roc Records.... »»»
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