"We're in for a good night, Nashville,"
The crowd of approximately 16,000 found out exactly how accurate Urban's words were when he,
This year's event featured country music duos and groups performing, with Urban and Gill lending backing vocals and guitars as needed. As always, all proceeds went to the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum -- a place near and dear to both the headliners.
"The importance of that place outlasts every one of us that's going to be on that stage," Gill told CMT.com on Monday (April 9). "The beauty of the Hall of Fame is it houses all of it. It houses everything that's ever been. ... I have a really deep entrenched love and respect for the Hall of Fame and the folks who've come before me."
Urban explained his work with the event is his way of showing his appreciation.
"For me it's my little way of giving back to this genre really that's just given me my whole life," he said during Monday's interview. "I met my wife because of playing country music. I live in Nashville because of it. Our two girls were born here in Nashville because of it. So, really, country music's given me my whole life. This is my way of saying thanks."
The mutual admiration was obvious at Tuesday's concert when Urban was surprised onstage by Vince Gill,
After Urban's performance of
The night's previously-announced list of entertainers was a smorgasbord of new and traditional country.
"Thank you to Keith and Vince for being our backup men," Miranda Lambert quipped. "That's hot."
Diamond Rio had the crowd singing along quickly with their feel-good hit, "Unbelievable," followed by
The Oak Ridge Boys then arrived, and in mere seconds everyone was belting out "Elvira" along with the group, followed by "Bobbie Sue."
After a brief video featuring commentary about the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum and plans for its much-needed expansion,
The audience was then surprised by one of the night's special guests -- Country Music Hall of Famer
"That's a major bucket list checkoff for me," said Urban. "In so many ways, it's like crawling into my dad's stereo speakers. That's what it was like for me."
The night's last surprise was well worth the wait as
The concert ended as all the entertainers were invited back onstage to sing the Beatles' "I Saw Her Standing There."
The evening left fans with, as Urban previously described, "the rich history we've got of groups and bands in this genre," along with a night of unforgettable music.