Keith Urban and Brooks & Dunn’s Kix Brooks are among the five newest hitmakers set to be inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame. Urban and Brooks will join the hall alongside fellow inductees Casey Beathard, David Lee Murphy, and Rafe Van Hoy.

Keith will be inducted as the contemporary songwriter-artist, while Kix will be inducted as the veteran songwriter-artist.

Urban recalled his early days in Nashville during a press conference yesterday (8/3). He said in part of his fellow inductee, “Kix was one of the first that came along, who sat at [Nashville venue] Jack’s Guitar Bar to hear me play, and later took me on tour. He’s been a champion ever since. I’m honored to be here with you.”

Keith penned many of his own hits, including “But For the Grace of God,” “Somebody Like You,” “Wasted Time,” and the CMA Award-nominated songs “Tonight I Wanna Cry” and “Better Life.” His 2012 song “For You” was featured in the film Act of Valor and earned him a Golden Globe nomination for Best Original Song.

Since its founding in 1970, the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame has honored and inducted 235 songwriters, including Garth Brooks, Don and Phil Everly, Harlan Howard, Loretta Lynn, Kris Kristofferson, Willie Nelson, Dolly Parton, Hank Williams, and more.

The honorees will be formally inducted into the prestigious organization during the 53rd Anniversary Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame Gala on Wednesday, October 11, to be held at Nashville’s Music City Center.

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Keith recently told me how he introduced country music to his now-wife, Nicole Kidman. He revealed, “The very first song I played her was ‘Are You Sure Hank Done It This Way’ by Waylon Jennings. I didn’t tell her anything, she just got in the car one day, and I hit play, and that kick drum started, and the guitar started.”

Urban adds, “She starts bopping her head and says, ‘Aw, I like this! What’s this?’ So she was hooked from then on.”

In the same interview, Keith told me about the music that his family listened to when he was a kid in Australia. He offered, “There was such a healthy mix of contemporary country music from my dad’s record collection. But also, I was just spoon-fed radio, Top 40 radio as a little kid; even in Dad’s car, we always listened to the radio. Even in the house, we seemed to listen to the radio more than we watched TV.”