Keith Urban did not refuse to induct Dire Straits into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, despite widespread reports he bailed because the band’s lead singer wasn’t attending the ceremony.
A rep for Urban tells The Blast that the singer couldn’t do the honors because he was in Las Vegas the weekend of the ceremony, rehearsing and then performing that Sunday at The Academy of Country Music Awards.
Urban’s name got dragged into the news last week after reports started surfacing that called out several famous musicians – specifically Urban and Neil Young – for allegedly bailing on the gig after finding out the band’s lead singer, Mark Knopfler, was not attending the ceremony (according to Billboard, Knopfler “just didn’t feel like coming”).
Dire Straits was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame last weekend in what was arguably the most uncomfortable induction in the ceremony’s 35-year-long history. In an unprecedented move, the induction went down without a famous induction speaker or a performance.
The weird moment managed to take an even weirder – and sadder – turn after Dire Straits’ keyboardist, Guy Fletcher, took to his website to spill the tea. Fletcher claimed the reason for not having a speaker wasn’t due to choice, but because EVERY single musician who was asked to induct them refused because the lead singer wouldn’t be there.
“[T]he people who were asked decided not to show up after learning that Mark [Knopfler] wasn’t to be there. I’m not sure of the timing of their decisions so it may not be as cruel as it seems,” Fletcher wrote.