Tuesday night’s (Oct. 13) concert benefiting the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum was such a huge success, Keith Urban is planning a similar event for October 2010.
Urban was one of the anchors for the We’re All for the Hall show at Nashville’s Sommet Center, but he had ample assistance onstage from friends such as Jason Aldean, Dierks Bentley, Vince Gill, Faith Hill, Lady Antebellum, Little Big Town, Brad Paisley and Taylor Swift.
“It’s really a team effort,” Urban told CMT Insider. “Honestly, I can’t take credit for it at all. I think all roads lead to Vince, ultimately, because he’s the one that suggested that artists look to one night a year to donate their [concert] proceeds. From there, we thought, ‘Let’s not only raise money but also awareness to the Hall and the museum. It’s important to have the awareness, as well.”
Gill, president of the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum’s board of officers and trustees, has encouraged his fellow artists to support the not-for-profit educational organization and has performed at All for the Hall fundraisers in New York and Los Angeles. The event in Nashville was the biggest event yet.
“We’ve had so many people that have been part of this All for the Hall campaign that have donated the proceeds of a show to the Hall of Fame, but this magnitude is going to create an awareness that maybe had not been before,” Gill said. “Even if I’m jumping up and down on the podium saying, ‘Please do this, please do this,’ the fact that Keith does it is going to carry far more weight than me yelling and screaming.”
Hill said there’s a simple reason for the artists’ involvement in the charity events.
“We’re all here to support the Country Music Hall of Fame and its ability to expand, to keep growing, to bring young people in, to keep the interesting flowing,” she said. “The Country Music Hall of Fame is a legacy. Without the artists who are in the Hall of Fame, the ones that are performing tonight wouldn’t be here. There’s a true legacy that exists in the Hall of Fame that is just continuing to grow.”
Lady Antebellum’s Charles Kelley stressed the importance of understanding the history of country music.
“You’ve got to know where you came from to know where you’re going,” he said. “There’s a lot you can learn from the history of it.” He added, “To be part of the genre can kind of give you chills, too, part of a genre that has created all these amazing heroes — Johnny Cash, Hank Williams and all these people. I think musicians learn from the past.”
In addition to honoring country music legends, Bentley said the museum serves an important purpose for contemporary singers and musicians.
“It’s like having a big scrapbook of all the pictures you’ve taken over the course of your career,” he said. “When you’re career’s over, where do you go to find the memories? The Hall of Fame is there to keep those memories alive, keep this music relevant and reflect its importance to the rest of the world.”View photos of Keith Urban and others at the We’re All for the Hall concert.