Keith Urban, Kix Brooks, David Lee Murphy, & More Among Just-Announced Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame Inductees

These five songwriters will officially be inducted on October 11.

By

Lauren Jo Black

| Posted on

August 3, 2023

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Keith Urban, Kix Brooks, Rafe Van Hoy, David Lee Murphy, Casey Beathard; Photo by Bev Moser, Moments by Moser

Keith Urban, Kix Brooks, David Lee Murphy, Casey Beathard and Rafe Van Hoy are the newest honorees to be inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame.

On Thursday (Aug. 3), the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame’s executive director Mark Ford and chair of the board of directors Rich Hallworth revealed the news during a press conference held at the historic Columbia Studio A on Music Row.

“Gathering for this occasion—to recognize and welcome the members of our incoming class—is always one of the highlights of our year,” Hallworth said at the event (per Music Row). “To this stellar group of songwriters, we say thank you for your songs and for your artistry. You are exceptional talents, and we are proud to honor you this fall, when you officially join your legendary peers in the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame.”

During the event, it was revealed that Beathard and Murphy will be inducted into the contemporary songwriter category, Van Hoy will join the veteran songwriter category, Urban will be inducted as a contemporary songwriter-artist, and Brooks will join as a veteran songwriter-artist.

Keith Urban

According to Billboard, Keith Urban recounted the early days of his career in Music City, including his first-ever visit to the iconic Bluebird Cafe and the time he spent in writing rooms on Music Row. 

The “Wild Hearts” singer also said that he is proud to be inducted alongside Kix Brooks, who is one half of the award-winning country duo Brooks & Dunn.

Keith Urban; Photo by Nathan Zucker, CMA
Keith Urban; Photo by Nathan Zucker, CMA

Urban fondly recalled, “Kix was one of the first to hear me play at Jack’s Guitar Bar [in Nashville] and later took me on tour. He’s been a champion ever since. I feel honored to be here with you.”

As a songwriter, Urban is known for penning his hits like “But For The Grace Of God,” “Wasted Time,” “Somebody Like You,” “Better Life,” and more.

Kix Brooks

Kix Brooks, who is a member of the Country Music Hall Of Fame as part of Brooks & Dunn, was thrilled at the sight of his fellow inductees when he walked into Thursday’s press conference. 

“I walked in here and saw these guys and was like, ‘We’re doing this together?’” 

Later, Brooks recalled the time when he and fellow honoree Murphy worked sweeping floors at the current location of the Musicians Hall of Fame before sharing what it means to him to be inducted alongside his friends and idols.  

Kix Brooks; Photo by Andrew Wendowski
Kix Brooks; Photo by Andrew Wendowski

“I came here as a fan of songwriters. That’s all I wanted to do,” Brooks explained. “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…”

Brooks has songwriting credits on many of Brooks & Dunn’s biggest hits, including “Brand New Man,” “Red Dirt Road,” and “My Next Broken Heart.”  He also co-wrote John Conlee’s “I’m Only In It For The Love” alongside his peer and inductee-elect Van Hoy.

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Rafe Van Hoy

Van Hoy carved a path as a successful songwriter with songs such as “Gold Ring,” recorded by George Jones and Tammy Wynette, “Baby I Lied,” recorded by Deborah Allen, “I’m Only In It For The Love” recorded by John Conlee, and many more. 

“To be in the Hall of Fame is something I always dreamed of,” Van Hoy exclaimed. “To be included with the club of brilliant minds and brilliant songwriter that are in the Hall of Fame is unbelievably humbling and an immense gratitude from my heart.”

Casey Beathard

Casey Beathard, a California-born, Virginia-raised songwriter, has written songs for Kenny Chesney (“Don’t Blink,” “No Shoes, No Shirt, No Problem,” and “The Boys Of Fall”), Rodney Atkins (“Cleaning This Gun”), Tracy Lawrence (“Find Out Who Your Friends Are”) and more. He earned his first-ever No. 1 hit in 2002 with Tracy Byrd’s “Ten Rounds With Jose Cuervo.”

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Beathard, who was crowned BMI’s Country Songwriter Of The Year (2004 and 2008) and NSAI’s Songwriter Of The Year (2008), also often works with Eric Church and has penned songs for Church such as “Like Jesus Does,” “Hell of A View” and “Like A Wrecking Ball.” More recently, he wrote Dolly Parton and Zach Williams’ “There Was Jesus.” 

“I’m just grateful to God and to everybody in this room … for considering me. It’s humbling beyond words and I’m just grateful,” Beathard admitted.

David Lee Murphy

David Lee Murphy is known as an artist and songwriter. He has found success as a solo artist with the hits “Party Crowd” and “Dust On The Bottle,” and has also become a sought-after tunesmith after writing songs recorded by Kenny Chesney (“Living In Fast Forward,” “Here And Now,” and more.)  

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“It’s a huge honor to be here today,” Murphy commented. “Most writers, this is one of those ten feet off the ground moments… The songwriter community in Nashville is such a tight-knit community… guys that I write with all the time. 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.”

Murphy also penned tunes for Thompson Square (“Are You Gonna Kiss Me Or Not”), Jason Aldean (“Big Green Tractor”), Justin Moore (“Why We Drink”) and more.

Induction Ceremony

The five songwriters will join the 235 previously inducted members on Wednesday, October 11, at the Music City Center during the 53rd Anniversary Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame Gala.

Since being established in 1970, the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame has celebrated numerous prominent songwriters from Music City. Among the esteemed honorees are Bill Anderson, Bobby Braddock, Garth Brooks, Felice and Boudleaux Bryant, Don and Phil Everly, Harlan Howard, Loretta Lynn, Kris Kristofferson, Willie Nelson, Dolly Parton, Hank Williams, Fred Rose, and Cindy Walker.

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Lauren Jo Black

Written by

Lauren Jo Black

Lauren Jo Black, a University of Central Florida graduate, has immersed herself in the world of country music for over 15 years. In 2008, she co-founded CountryMusicIsLove, eventually selling it to a major record label in 2015. Following the rebranding of the website to Sounds Like Nashville, Black served as Editor-in-Chief for two and a half years. Currently, she assumes the role of Editor-in-Chief at Country Now and oversees Country Now’s content and digital footprint. Her extensive experience also encompasses her previous role as a Country Music Expert Writer for Answers.com and her work being featured on Forbes.com. She’s been spotlighted among Country Aircheck’s Women of Influence and received the 2012 Rising Star Award from the University of Central Florida. Black also spent time in front of the camera as host of Country Now Live, which brought live music directly to fans in 2021 when the majority of concerts were halted due to the pandemic. During this time, she hosted 24 weeks of live concerts via Country Now Live on Twitch with special guests such as Lady A, Dierks Bentley, Jordan Davis, Brett Young, and Jon Pardi. Over the course of her career, she has had the privilege of conducting interviews with some of the industry’s most prominent stars, including Reba McEntire, Blake Shelton, Luke Combs, Carrie Underwood, Luke Bryan, Miranda Lambert, Lainey Wilson, and many others. Lauren Jo Black is a longtime member of the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music.