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Mr. Urban and Mr. Gill served as co-musical directors and house band leaders, sitting in on almost every song and merging their bands for the night.
Little compared with the moment when Mr. Gill called all the Opry members in the house back on stage following Rascal Flatts’ performance. That trio, also recently invited to join the Opry, brought out a black duffel bag with a surprise inside for Mr. Urban. He opened it to find an Opry microphone stand.
Mr. Urban appeared to tear up before recovering and addressing the crowd. He also dedicated his invitation to his wife, actress Nicole Kidman, and his daughters.
“I’ve been here 20 years this year,” Mr. Urban said. “1989 was the first year I came over from Australia to take my demo to the record labels. I got a lot of strange looks. … This night here is in a whole other stratosphere.”
• Compiled from wire service reports.
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