Keith Urban received the honor of a lifetime on Wednesday, October 11 when he was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters' Hall of Fame.
The 55-year-old country star was the final honoree of the night, and the tribute kicked off with a salute from Eric Church, who sang Keith's 2002 track "Who Wouldn't Wanna Be Me?"
However, members of the crowd at the Nashville Songwriters Gala were treated to quite the surprise when legend Dolly Parton herself showed up to induct Keith into the Hall of Fame.
The moment was met with awe from everyone, and Keith in particular showed his gratitude by getting down on his knees and bowing before Dolly. In both of their speeches, they also spoke of their mutual admiration for each other, made more apparent by their penchant for mixing country with rock.
Last week, Keith took to social media to reflect on the then-upcoming honor by showcasing some of his favorite songs in his lengthy discography.
He penned: "It's a massive honor to be inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame next week and I wanted to shine a light on a collection of songs that I've written. "
Speaking of the song "Shine" and its message of hope, he added: "I probably write these kinds of songs because not only do I need to hear them, but I need these kinds of people in my own life too."
Fans shared their support and enthusiasm for the Australian-American star, with Reese Witherspoon commenting: "Congratulations KU! So deserved!"
One of his followers wrote: "Congratulations KU! This is an honor that is beyond well deserved! Your music always SHINES an inspirational light in my life!" and another added: "Love your music and your concerts always bring so much fun and joy to us," while a third gushed: "So many congratulations sent your way!!!! Thank you for designing the best electric guitars."
The news was announced in early August. In an interview with the St. Louis Post-Dispatch after the announcement, Keith gushed: "It's truly surreal," saying he "just wouldn't have believed it" if someone had told him this would one day be happening.
"To be recognized as a writer is extraordinary, because I've always loved songwriting," he continued. "When I started really writing poetry in school, and I started writing songs just out of a desire to not be stuck, always singing somebody else's song, playing in cover bands, and realizing 'This is going nowhere for me. I want to write my own songs.'"
Keith was honored for his three-decade long career, beginning with his self-titled debut album in 1991, and his songwriting not only on his own hits, but also with others like P!nk, Carrie Underwood, Nelly Furtado, and Dolly herself.
Other honorees included Kix Brooks of Brooks & Dunn, Casey Beathard, and David Lee Murphy.
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