The Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame (NaSHOF) welcomed six new members into its ranks last night as the Class of 2023 was officially honored at the organization’s 53rd Anniversary Gala. The musical contributions of the newest inductees were celebrated through star-studded performances of some of their biggest songs for the capacity crowd at Nashville’s Music City Center.
The Class of 2023: Casey Beathard and David Lee Murphy in the contemporary songwriter category; Rafe Van Hoy in the veteran songwriter category, Keith Urban in the contemporary songwriter/artist category and Kix Brooks in the veteran songwriter/artist category.
The event traditionally features some of music’s most talented artists performing songs from the inductees’ impressive catalogs, and this year’s line-up was no exception.
Inductee Casey Beathard was presented to the audience by Hall of Fame member Buddy Cannon, and superstar Eric Church, along with Joanna Cotten, performed “Like Jesus Does,” a platinum-selling song for the artist.
John Conlee then took the stage to honor inductee Rafe Van Hoy. Conlee performed his classic “Lady Lay Down,” one of several chart toppers penned for him by Van Hoy, who was presented by Hall of Fame member Bobby Braddock.
Hall of Fame member Bob DiPiero presented inductee Kix Brooks, and award-winning recording artist Cody Johnson performed the Brooks & Dunn smash, “Only In America,” written by Brooks.
Superstar Kenny Chesney performed “Living In Fast Forward,” one of several No. 1 hits written for him by inductee David Lee Murphy, who was presented by Hall of Fame member Craig Wiseman.
Closing the evening’s festivities, Eric Church took the stage once more, this time to salute inductee Keith Urban, with Urban’s self-written #1 “Who Wouldn’t Wanna Be Me.” Music icon Dolly Parton, herself a member of the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame, presented Urban.