Nicole Kidman was part of the crowd who was Under the Influence as her husband Keith Urban hosted the seventh All for the Hall benefit for the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena on Monday night.
Under the Influence was the theme that challenged each performer to do not only a song of their own, but also one that was formative for them. For his, Keith chose Linda Ronstadt’s version of “Blue Bayou,” after doing his own “Wasted Time.”
This was the first time the Aussie superstar had hosted the night on his own, having previously helmed it with Vince Gill, who was otherwise occupied on tour with The Eagles. Morgan Wallen seemed to set that right, tackling “Take It Easy,” following his smash, “Whiskey Glasses.”
Blake Shelton flew in to tell the story of “Ol Red,” and then paid homage to Alan Jackson with his hit, “Dallas.”
Carly Pearce offered her number one debut single, “Every Little Thing,” countering the ballad’s vulnerability with Shania Twain’s “Man, I Feel Like a Woman!”
Shania’s fellow neighbor to the North, Tenille Townes, sang her first single, “Somebody’s Daughter,” before embracing an unexpected choice, U2’s “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For.”
Ingrid Andress, who’s experiencing her first top twenty success with “More Hearts than Mine,” recalled John Denver’s “Take Me Home, Country Roads.”
The headline of the night might be that Keith revealed that his labelmate Chris Stapleton is busy working on his new record, before Chris and his wife Morgane came on to do “Millionaire” and Willie Nelson’s “Angel Flying Too Close to the Ground.”
Tanya Tucker — who’s surely destined to soon be a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame — doubled up on her tribute to tradition, channeling her lifelong love for the genre into George Jones’ “The Grand Tour,” the Loretta Lynn/Emmylou Harris classic “Blue Kentucky Girl,” and the standard written by the First Lady of Country Music, Tammy Wynette — “Stand by Your Man.” When Tanya did her own, Grammy-winning “Bring My Flowers Now,” it made you wonder if it might someday be similarly-regarded.
Brothers Osborne and Christian crossover sensation Lauren Daigle were All for the Hall too.
Country’s biggest current sensation, Luke Combs, closed out the night with his latest number one, “Even Though I’m Leavin’,” before revisiting Brooks & Dunn’s “Brand New Man.”