There’s no question that Keith Urban was totally surprised when Vince Gill invited him to become a member of the Grand Ole Opry. You can see it in his face. We spoke to him a couple days later, and he confirmed that he was shocked: “It’s not every day you get a duffle bag brought to you on stage. I had no clue what it was. It’s funny, my wife and I have a strict rule that we don’t keep secrets, and we’re not into surprises. My wife’s like, I don’t like surprises, tell me if there’s going to be a surprise party. So we’ve never kept a secret about anything, and this is the rare exception.And when I got home, she said, ‘Do you wish I’d told you?’ And I said no. On one hand, yes, because I’d felt a little more prepared, but on the other hand, no, because it was genuine shock. So I’m grateful she didn’t.
Who were the Opry members who took you under your wing? The first guy I met out there was Ricky Skaggs, because I was such a Ricky fan. And he was so approachable and easy to talk to, and I was such a fan that I kept thinking, ‘I’m talking to Ricky Skaggs, this is so cool,’ but that’s just the vibe back there, it’s just like that, everyone is so approachable and laid back.
Did you hear from any members after the invitation? I did, I was swamped with texts from family and friends, particularly other Opry members. Brad Paisley sent me a nice text, and I got one from Dierks Bentley. He said, ‘From now on, don’t use 911, use 912, it’s an Opry thing.’ So I’m in!
You’ll be inducted on April 21st, so what’s going to happen that day? I don’t know. All I know was it was a friend of my wife’s birthday on the schedule. That was totally fictitious! That was it. It was Monica’s birthday on the 21st. We know Monica, but evidently it’s not her birthday. I didn’t question it, I was just going to go.