Keith Urban, Kix Brooks Among Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame Inductees

Keith Urban and Kix Brooks are among this year’s class of inductees into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame. The two will be joined by David Lee Murphy, Casey Beathard and Rafe Van Hoy, in a ceremony held in Music City this fall.

Urban is responsible for writing several of his own hits, including “But For The Grace Of God,” “Who Wouldn’t Wanna Be Me.” “Days Go By,” “Somewhere In My Car,” “Wild Hearts” and more. He also has written songs for other artists, including co-writing Tyler Hubbard‘s recent No. 1 single, “Dancin’ In The Country” with Hubbard.

It’s fitting for Urban that he is being inducted the same year as Brooks, who was influential in helping Urban get his own career in country music started.

“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,” Urban said to Brooks during the induction announcement (via Billboard). “He’s been a champion ever since. I’m honored to be here with you,”

Brooks wrote many of Brooks & Dunn‘s hits, including “Brand New Man,” “My Next Broken Heart,” “Lost and Found,” “You’re Gonna Miss Me When I’m Gone, “Red Dirt Road,” “Only in America” and more. To be recognized as a songwriter, and not just a singer, is a welcome endorsement for Brooks.

“I came here as fan of songwriters. That’s all I wanted to do,” Brooks reflected.. “My heroes were not just artists, but artists who wrote their own songs. To even think I would even be recognized in the same sentence as the mention of their names …”

Murphy has penned several of his own singles, as well as songs for other artists. The 64-year-old wrote “Party Crowd,” “Dust On The Bottle” and more, plus Jason Aldean‘s “Big Green Tractor,” Kenny Chesney‘s “Living in Fast Forward,” “The More I Drink” by Blake Shelton and more.

“It’s a huge honor to be here today. Most writers, this is one of those ten feet off the ground moments,” Murphy said, saying that Nashville songwriters were part of a “tight-knit community.” “It’s a special group of people that are songwriters in Nashville. They are supportive and hugely talented and creative. That makes it even more special that I am here today with these guys … this is something I will always remember.”

Beathard’s first No. 1 hit was Tracy Byrd’s “Ten Rounds With Jose Cuervo” in 2002. Other songs he wrote include Tracy Lawrence‘s “Find Out Who Your Friends Are,” “There Was Jesus” by Zach Williams and Dolly Parton, and Chesney’s “No Shoes, No Shirt, No Problems,” “Don’t Blink” and “The Boys Of Fall,” among others.

Van Hoy has an extensive history in country music. He is the songwriter behind some of country music’s most iconic hits, including Deborah Allen’s “Baby I Lied,” John Conlee’s “Friday Night Blues,” “Hurt Me Bad (In A Real Good Way)” by Patty Loveless and “What’s Forever For,” first recorded by Michael Martin Murphey.

Shania Twain and  Steve Wariner were among last year’s inductees. Other songwriters who are members of the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame include Loretta Lynn, Garth Brooks, Dean Dillon, Toby Keith, Waylon Jennings, Merle Haggard, Ray Stevens, Kris Kristofferson and more.

More information on the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame can be found here.