Keith Urban will take the Grand Ole Opry stage in the next few weeks. Keith recently shared the Opry’s Insta stories post on his own Insta Stories, where they posted a photo of Urban playing on the Opry stage from last year. They wrote over the image, “We’re excited to welcome @keithurban back into the circle on September 13th!'”

Keith has been a Grand Ole Opry family member since April 2012, when his friend Vince Gill inducted him into the Opry. On the night of his induction, Keith told me that the Opry is always where his heart has been. “I was in this heavy metal band for like two weeks, and I get fired for playing chicken picking guitar solos. It’s a band that plays all this Judas Priest and Whitesnake and everything, but I’m totally immersed in Ricky Skaggs at the time. I bought Highways and Heartaches (Skaggs’ album), and I went (makes country guitar sounds) every time they throw me a solo, and so I got fired from the band.”

Urban continued, “I was fifteen, and that, to me, sums up what my conundrum was at the time, like, ‘What do I do? What sort of music should I be making?’ and the foundation was always country. So, to get this induction, this is exactly where my heart is, always has been.”

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Keith 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.

He 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. 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.

Five Country Superstars Who Are Not Opry Members

  • Tim McGraw

    Tim made his Grand Ole Opry debut in December 2003. After that, he played it a few times, but never that much, and now he doesn’t play the Grand Ole Opry at all. Not sure why.

  • Faith Hill

    Faith played the Opry in the late 1990s when her career started to hit. She didn’t play the Opry stage much after that.

  • George Strait

    George Strait
    Vince Bucci/Getty Images

    George played the Grand Ole Opry show once, his debut performance on the stage in October of 1982. That was the first and last time, and no one really knows why. There is a theory that he could not make the Opry commitment to play the stage very much because he never lived in Nashville; he has always resided in Texas.

  • Miranda Lambert

    Miranda played the Grand Ole Opry several times in her career, and some of her most recent performances on the Opry stage were in 2014 with then-husband Blake Shelton and in 2015 and 2016. She does not play it often now, and in 2015, she told me when asked about the Grand Ole Opry and someday becoming a member, “It’s sort of something I don’t talk about or have never asked or say that out loud. It was always a big deal to Blake, so that was something we always talked about, and he became a member, but I’d never really set it out for myself.” She added, “It wasn’t on my radar before because I focused on that for him, but I would definitely never say no to being a member of the Grand Ole Opry.”

  • Kenny Chesney

    Kenny Chesney
    Scott Gries/Getty Images

    Kenny made his Opry debut in 1996. He has been on the Opry stage a handful of times and once when he paid tribute to George Jones singing his classic, “White Lightning.” These days it’s very rare to see Chesney on the Grand Ole Opry stage.