Keith Urban officially became a member of the Grand Ole Opry during an appearance on its famous Nashville, Tenn. stage Saturday night.
After performing his hits "Days Go By" and "Without You," while wife Nicole Kidman looked on from backstage, the country superstar was inducted by General Manager Pete Fisher and fellow Opry members Trace Adkins and Josh Turner.
"Thank you very much! Yee haw! That is awesome!" Urban, 44, said before thanking the Opry's members, his parents (who "got me into country music and drove me around to all the gigs"), his wife, daughters Sunday Rose, 3, and Faith Margaret, 16 months, and his fans.
The guitarist, singer and songwriter, who was born in New Zealand and raised in Australia, is the first non-North American artist to receive the honor.
"This is a responsibility that I take deep to the heart of me," he said during his emotional speech. "I honor the history of country music, but I absolutely fully dedicate myself to the future of country music, as well."
Last winter Urban underwent throat surgery to remove a polyp, leaving him without a voice for three weeks.
"To go without his voice, and then to finally hear [it]. What if he sounded different?" Kidman, 44, revealed. "I was there for his first words, and then we cried."
Added the "Hemingway & Gellhorn" star, "How many people experience their husband's first words? All of those things make you closer ... If that doesn't bring you closer, you're not breathing.