Keith Urban just celebrated his fifth anniversary of being an official member of the Grand Ole Opry on Friday (April 21st). On that night five years ago, he showed the fans in the audience, the ones watching it on TV or hearing it on the radio, just why he’s been such a great ambassador for country music and for Nashville and how deserving he is of Opry membership. He performed a handful of his hits, including “Days Go By,” an acoustic version of “Without You” before Opry members Trace Adkins and Josh Turner and helped to present Keith with his Opry award, a 14-inch replica of the Grand Ole Opry microphone stand with a base made from wood from the Ryman Auditorium.

    After Trace officially welcomed him into the family, Keith said “Thank you very much! Yee Haw!” After thanking Pete Fisher, the General Manager of the Opry, as well as other Opry members, his parents who gave him his love of country music, his wife and two daughters and his fans, among others, the superstar said. “I just want to thank the Opry for this honor, but also this responsibility,” says Keith. “I take this responsibility very seriously.” The superstar born in New Zealand and raised in Australia continued, “it’s a long way from Caboolture [Queensland, Australia] to the stage here at the Grand Ole Opry … and to stand in this circle is the most phenomenal thing. I just want to thank the Opry for this honor, but also the responsibility. This is a responsibility that I take deep to the heart of me. …This once and for all shows the global popularity and reach of country music. … I honor the history of country music, but I absolutely fully dedicate myself to the future of country music, as well. God bless you all.” He wrapped it up with “Who Wouldn’t Wanna Be Me.”

    “I was thinking what it means to me to be inducted into the Opry is probably no more than just a feeling of they know where my heart is – that’s what it means to me to get this induction,” said Keith. “And the foundation was always country, so to get this induction…this is exactly where my heart is; always has been.”

    Keith is currently making his way up the country charts with his latest single, “The Fighter,” featuring Carrie Underwood. For more information on Keith including tour dates, go to keithurban.net.

    Audio / Keith Urban explains what it means for him to be asked to join the Grand Ole Opry.


    Keith Urban (Opry knows his heart) OC: …always has been. :57
    “I was thinking what it means to me to be inducted into the Opry is probably no more than just a feeling of they know where my heart is – that’s what it means to me to get this induction. My whole childhood is predominantly immersed in traveling around to country festivals and performing and competing in these talent quests. And you know, I was in this heavy metal band for like two weeks, and I got fired for playing these chicken-picking guitar solos ‘cause it’s a band that plays all this Judas Priest and Whitesnake and everything, but I’m totally immersed in Ricky Skaggs at the time. I bought Highways and Heartaches, and I just discovered Ray Flack and I’m like, ‘This is fantastic.’ And I’m like, [sings guitar picking] every time they throw me a solo, and I got fired from the band. You know, I was 15, and that to me, that sums up what my conundrum was at the time was sort of like, ‘Well, what do I do? What sort of music should I be making?’…And the foundation was always country, so to get this induction…this is exactly where my heart is; always has been.”

    Video / Keith Urban's Grand Ole Opry induction


    The nominees for the 2017 Billboard Music Awards were announced and several of your favorite country artists are up for awards. Luke Bryan is nominated in the all-format fan-voted Billboard Chart Achievement category, as well as for Top Country Tour.

    Keith Urban has several BBMA nods, including Top Country Album for Ripcord and Top Country Song for “Blue Ain’t Your Color,” as well as a nomination for Top Country Artist.

    Chris Stapleton is up against Keith as Top Country Artist, as well as Top Country Album for Traveller.

    Little Big Town’s “Better Man” is up for Top Country Song, while Dierks Bentley’s “Different for Girls” featuring Elle King, Eric Church’s “Kill a Word” with Rhiannon Giddens and Vince Gill’s appearance on Chris Young’s “Sober Saturday Night” are up for Top Country Collaborations.

    Hillary Scott & the Scott Family have three BBMA nominations, including Top Christian Artist, Top Christian Album for Love Remains and Top Christian Song for “Thy Will.”

    The Billboard Music Awards will air on May 21 at 8PM on ABC.

    Billboard Chart Achievement Award Presented by Xfinity:
    Luke Bryan
    Nicki Minaj
    The Chainsmokers
    The Weeknd
    Twenty One Pilots

    Top Country Artist:
    Florida Georgia Line
    Blake Shelton
    Keith Urban
    Chris Stapleton
    Jason Aldean

    Top Country Tour:
    Luke Bryan
    Kenny Chesney
    Dixie Chicks

    Top Country Album:
    Jason Aldean, They Don’t Know
    Florida Georgia Line, Dig Your Roots
    Blake Shelton, If I’m Honest
    Chris Stapleton, Traveller
    Keith Urban, Ripcord

    Top Country Song:
    Kenny Chesney Featuring Pink, “Setting The World On Fire”
    Florida Georgia Line, “H.O.L.Y.”
    Florida Georgia Line Featuring Tim McGraw, “May We All”
    Little Big Town, “Better Man”
    Keith Urban, “Blue Ain’t Your Color”

    Top Country Collaboration:
    Dierks Bentley Featuring Elle King, “Different For Girls”
    Kenny Chesney Featuring Pink, “Setting The World On Fire”
    Eric Church Featuring Rhiannon Giddens, “Kill A Word”
    Florida Georgia Line Featuring Tim McGraw, “May We All”
    Chris Young Featuring Vince Gill, “Sober Saturday Night”

    Top Christian Artist:
    Lauren Daigle
    Hillsong Worship
    Hillary Scott & the Scott Family
    Chris Tomlin

    Top Christian Album:
    Casting Crowns, The Very Next Thing
    Lauren Daigle, How Can It Be
    Joey + Rory, Hymns
    Hillary Scott & The Scott Family, Love Remains
    Skillet, Unleashed

    Top Christian Song:
    Lauren Daigle, “Trust In You”
    Hillary Scott & The Family, “Thy Will”
    Skillet, “Feel Invincible”
    Ryan Stevenson Featuring GabeReal, “Eye Of The Storm”
    Zach Williams, “Chain Breaker”


    Seven-time ACM nominee Keith Urban is set to release a brand new music video, a “dancers version,” of his current single “The Fighter,” featuring Carrie Underwood. The video release, to take place on Sunday, April 2nd at 9:00AM ET, at https://www.facebook.com/keithurban/videos/10154816044486077/, comes on the same day as the 52nd Academy of County Music Awards™.

    Directed by John Urbano, the new “dancers version” features performances from Lyle Beniga and Lindsay Richardson, who also appear shortly in the official music video smarturl.it/fightervideo.  The two choreographed the dancing and do have a long list of credits including Justin Timberlake, Brittany Spears, Usher, Jennifer Lopez, etc.

    “John said, ‘I know this girl who dances, sort of street dancing,” said Urban.  “I don’t even know what it is,’ but it was so good and John said ‘listen to the song and watch her dance at the same time’ and they just went together so incredibly well that we decided to put out a full “dancer’s version.”

    The official video for “The Fighter,” as well as the “making of” was released late last month.  It marked the fourth music video release from Urban’s historic album RIPCORD, which debuted simultaneously at #1 in three countries.  Urban stands as the only male solo Country artist to accomplish that feat, which he’s done twice.

    Video / Keith Urban reveals the premiere of a new version of The Fighter video.

    Video / The Fighter video


    Lauren Alaina, Darius Rucker and Kacey Musgraves have been added to the list of presenters at this year’s ACM Awards.

    Also announced were some cool collaborations, including Keith Urban with Carrie Underwood on their current duet “The Fighter.” Dierks Bentley will join Cole Swindell on “Flatliner,” Cole’s new duet with Dierks.

    The 52nd Annual Academy of Country Music Awards, hosted by Luke Bryan and Dierks, will be broadcast live from the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas Sunday (April 2nd) at 8pm ET/delayed PT on CBS.

  • ACM AWARDS 2017

    Keith Urban leads list of ACM Awards nominations with seven in five categories, including his seventh nod for Entertainer of the Year and 10th nod for Male Vocalist of the Year. Keith is nominated twice, as both artist and producer, in the Album of the Year category for Ripcord.  He received an additional two nominations, for both artist and producer, in the Single Record of the Year category for “Blue Ain’t Your Color,” which is also nominated in the Song of the Year category.

    ACM Awards co-host Dierks Bentley received three nominations, including his fourth nomination in the Male Vocalist of the Year category.  Also, Dierks received his third nod in the Album of the Year category for Black, and his second nod in the Vocal Event of the Year category for “Different For Girls,” featuring Elle King, which the pair won at last year’s CMA Awards.

    Reigning ACM Male Vocalist of the Year Chris Stapleton is nominated in three categories. Once again, Stapleton is nominated in both the Male Vocalist of the Year category, and the Song of the Year category with “Tennessee Whiskey.”  Also, Stapleton received a nod in the Video of the Year category for “Fire Away,” which stars actors Ben Foster (Lone Survivor, Inferno) and Margarita Levieva (Revenge, The Blacklist). The video concept, which Chris envisioned, centered on mental health issues and helped raise awareness for the Campaign to Change Direction. The video has also picked up an award in the same category at last year CMA Awards.

    Luke Bryan and Keith Urban are among the Entertainer of the Year nominees, along with Carrie Underwood, Florida Georgia Line and Jason Aldean.

    The 52nd Annual Academy of Country Music Awards, hosted by Luke Bryan and Dierks Bentley, will be broadcast live from the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas April 2nd at 8pm ET/delayed PT on CBS.

    Following is the list of final nominees and find audio with many of the nominees below.
    Jason Aldean
    Luke Bryan
    Florida Georgia Line
    Carrie Underwood
    Keith Urban

    Jason Aldean
    Dierks Bentley
    Thomas Rhett
    Chris Stapleton
    Keith Urban

    Kelsea Ballerini
    Miranda Lambert
    Kacey Musgraves
    Maren Morris
    Carrie Underwood

    Big & Rich
    Brothers Osborne
    Dan & Shay
    Florida Georgia Line
    Maddie & Tae

    Eli Young Band
    Lady Antebellum
    Little Big Town
    Old Dominion
    Rascal Flatts


    Jon Pardi

    Brothers Osborne
    ALBUM OF THE YEAR [Awarded to Artist(s)/Producer(s)/Record Company–Label(s)]

    Black – Dierks Bentley

    Dig Your Roots – Florida Georgia Line
    HERO – Maren Morris

    Ripcord – Keith Urban

    The Weight of These Wings – Miranda Lambert

    Single Record of the Year [Awarded to Artist(s)/Producer(s)/Record Company–Label(s)]

    Blue Ain’t Your Color – Keith Urban

    H.O.L.Y. – Florida Georgia Line

    Humble And Kind – Tim McGraw

    My Church – Maren Morris

    Vice – Miranda Lambert

    SONG OF THE YEAR [Awarded to Songwriter(s)/Publisher(s)/Artist(s)]

    Blue Ain’t Your Color – Keith Urban
    Songwriters: Clint Lagerberg, Hillary Lindsey, Steven Lee Olsen

    Die A Happy Man – Thomas Rhett
    Songwriters: Thomas Rhett, Sean Douglas, Joe Spargur

    Humble And Kind – Tim McGraw
    Songwriter: Lori McKenna

    Kill A Word – Eric Church Featuring Rhiannon Giddens
    Songwriters: Eric Church, Luke Dick, Jeff Hyde

    Tennessee Whiskey – Chris Stapleton
    Songwriters: Dean Dillon, Linda Hargrove

    Vice – Miranda Lambert
    Songwriters: Miranda Lambert, Shane McAnally, Josh Osborne

    Video of the Year PRESENTED BY XFINITY [Awarded to Producer(s)/Director(s)/Artist(s)]

    Fire Away – Chris Stapleton 

    Forever Country – Artists of Then, Now & Forever

    Humble And Kind – Tim McGraw
    Peter Pan – Kelsea Ballerini

    Vice – Miranda Lambert

    Vocal Event of the Year [Awarded to Artist(s)/Producer(s)/Record Company–Label(s)]

    Different For Girls – Dierks Bentley Featuring Elle King

    Forever Country – Artists of Then, Now & Forever

    May We All – Florida Georgia Line Featuring Tim McGraw

    Setting The World On Fire – Kenny Chesney Featuring P!nk

    Think Of You – Chris Young Featuring Cassadee Pope

    Audio / Keith Urban, who is nominated for Entertainer of the Year, says he loves playing live.


    Keith Urban (ACM Entertainer of the Year) OC: …extraordinary. :20
    “I’ve always loved putting on concerts and tours and shows and really trying to put on something that’s incredibly entertaining and engaging, so I probably obsess about that part of what I do equal to making records, for sure. So, to get that nomination, along with the Album at this point, is extraordinary.”

    Audio / Keith Urban’s Ripcord is nominated for Album of the Year at this year’s ACM Awards, and he says he loves making records.


    Keith Urban (what made Ripcord) OC: …made Ripcord. :17
    “I love making music I love making records. I really do, and I’m curious and passionate and hungry about where my art can go. That’s really what drives me completely and it’s what made Ripcord.”

    Audio / Keith Urban explains the first time he heard his multi-week No. 1 song, “Blue Ain’t Your Color,” which is nominated for both ACM Single and Song of the Year.


    Keith Urban (1st time he heard Blue) OC: …in the studio. :31
    “I just know when I heard ‘Blue Ain’t Your Color’ for the first time, it just struck me as one of those rare songs that encompass so many things in it. I couldn’t even label what it was, what style it was. It’s got a bit of soul, it’s got a bit of blues, it’s got a bit of country, it’s got just a big mix of all good things. Lyrically, it’s just an incredible song, incredible song. [It’s got] great melody, great lyric. I was so hopin’ I could do the song justice when we got in the studio.”

    Audio / Luke Bryan talks about being named Entertainer of the Year from both the ACM Awards and CMA Awards.


    Luke Bryan (Entertainer wins) OC: …got it right. :49
    “The title is what it is, you know? I mean, my focus in life when I’m on stage is entertaining these fans. If it’s my smile and my demeanor, if it’s my song that does it, if it’s me picking up a child out of the audience and letting them sing, it’s not being so premeditated that you can see it from a mile away. I mean, my main thing is be a fan up there that just gets to sing. That’s kind of how I’ve always approached it, and being called the Entertainer of the Year makes me want to do that to the best of my ability every night for the rest of my life as long as I’m on stage. I want people to leave my shows and go, ‘You know what? Whoever’s voting him Entertainer of the Year, they got it right.’”

    Audio / Dierks Bentley says his ACM-nominated album, Black, shows a lot of growth and maturity.


    Dierks Bentley (growth in album) OC: …understand it. :56
    “The record when people listen to it, they’re gonna hear right away that it’s about relationships and hopefully, project their own history and storyline and relationships into this particular album. For me, it has a thread of this guy who starts off in this one place with the song ‘Black,’ kind of in the moment with this one girl and then the cracks and the fissures start to show themselves. The next song, ‘Pick Up,’ you have this desperation and then ‘I’ll Be the Moon,’ there’s some deception going on, and then it just kind of goes from there. It’s a real story about just the highs and lows and really the maturity that I guess I go through, this singer goes through, throughout the album. You know the same guy that’s singing ‘Somewhere on a Beach,’ by the end of the record is singing a song called ‘Different for Girls,’ where he’s obviously matured enough to see that there is a different way that girls and guys handle breakups sometimes and there’s also a stereotype that goes along with that unfortunately, as well, too. A lot of growth throughout the record, but it’s all about relationships and this one person’s journey through love and trying to understand it.”

    Audio / Eric Church is nominated for Song of the Year for his recent Top 5 single, “Kill a Word,” Featuring Rhiannon Giddens. He cowrote the song with Luke Dick and Jeff Hyde, and it strikes a chord with how the world is today.


    Eric Church (Kill a Word) OC: …positive way. :34

    “‘Kill a Word’ is as proud I’ve ever been as a songwriter, not only because of a turn of phrase and the way the lyrics are, but just the message. I think that the society that we live in today, if you don’t hear this song and look around and see how it relates to the world we live in, then I can’t help you, because it’s so true with everything that’s going on. It’s one of those songs that strikes a chord that I know in my career we’ve never struck, and I hope it strikes something for a lot of people in a positive way.”

    Audio / Chris Stapleton explains why he recorded his ACM-Nominated Song of the Year, “Tennessee Whiskey,” which appears on his double-platinum album, Traveller.


    Chris Stapleton (Tennessee Whiskey) OC: …version of it. :41
    “‘Tennessee Whiskey’ is a song that I love, you know I love great country songs and songwriters, and this is certainly one that is a great country song written by great country songwriters and performed by a great country artists. Certainly, if you try to cover a George Jones or David Allan Coe, you can’t try to out-George Jones George Jones or anything like that. So, if you’re gonna cover something like that, you need to try to move away from that and hopefully make it your own. We kind of happened upon this way of playing this song and had fun with it live and felt like it was something to record that was a good tip of the hat to things we grew up on and loved. I think it’s a unique and interesting version of it.”

    Audio / Chris Stapleton talks about his ACM-nominated Music Video of the Year, “Fire Away.”


    Chris Stapleton (Fire Away CMA video) OC: …the video. 1:03
    “The label kept asking me if I was going to do a video for the record, and they kept asking what I wanted to do. We were in this meeting hall at the label, and I said, ‘Here’s what I want to do. Here’s the idea,’ and I got dead silence out of it, and they thought I was a crazy man for a minute. Then they went back and thought about it and everybody got on board with it and we found Tim who was a remarkable director to direct, and I had this crazy idea to get Ben Foster in the video and I didn’t know him at all [laughs] at the time, and he was kind enough to do it. He brought in the actual reason for doing it, which was to raise the awareness. I had the idea for a storyline, and then everything happened very organically with that video and he brought Margarita in to play the female role in that video. It became something hopefully that has value beyond just being a video for the sake of doing a video. That’s what I liked about the video.”

    Audio / Lady Antebellum’s Charles Kelley said he and his bandmates will never take an awards nomination for granted.


    Lady Antebellum (Charles happy to be nominated) OC: …means a lot. :31

    “Yeah, yeah, for sure. I mean you can’t take that for granted. There’s always going to be a new crop of groups and musicians that … and there should be. That’s what the music business is about. That’s what fans want. I mean, I always want something new. I’m always craving it, and so hopefully all this stuff kind of as groups and as artists helps motivate you to be creative and come up with something unique and different. So we never take it for granted because there will be a time when we won’t be in those categories and you know, so, you’re still in the game; you’re still playing on a pretty high level and so that means a lot.”

    Audio / Carrie Underwood talks about "Forever Country," which is nominated for ACM Video of the Year and Vocal Event of the Year.


    Carrie Underwood (Forever Country song) OC: …without her. :35
    “Well, I think the all three song choices were perfect. When I kind of first heard the idea of them mashing up ‘I Will Always Love You,’ ‘Take Me Home Country Roads’ and ‘On The Road Again’ I was like, ‘How’s that gonna work?,’ because they’re three very different songs by three very different artists. I’m honored to be a part of it and to be singing parts on ‘I Will Always Love You,’ which I actually do in my tour set. So, it’s perfect. And it’s perfect…it’s perfect that Dolly ends it too. It wouldn’t have been right for us to do it without her.”

    Audio / Kacey Musgraves talks about the ACM-nominated "Forever Country."


    Kacey Musgraves talks about being a part of “Forever Country.”

    Kacey Musgraves (Forever Country song) OC: …pretty special. :30
    “This project is crazy. I really respect the roots of the genre, the traditions of it. I just really love it.  So it’s been really fun for me to take that, which inspires me, and mix it with my own new ideas, and me as a 27-year-old girl in 2016 and make it my own thing. So, being a part of this song, a song with my peers but also with these amazing icons and legends is pretty special.”

  • NEWS AND NOTES: Keith, Jon, Darius, Toby, The Band Perry, Sam

    Keith Urban will appear on the talk show Harry on Wednesday (March 22nd), reuniting with his friend and fellow American Idol judge. [Check local listings]

    Jon Pardi will perform his No. 1 hit, “Dirt on My Boots,” on ABC’s Good Morning America on Thursday (March 23rd). The ACM New Male Artist of the Year has dates in Tallahassee, Fort Myers and Las Vegas, before stepping on the stage of this year’s ACM Awards next week to perform and accept his award.

    Darius Rucker will appear in Thursday night’s (March 23rd) episode of CMT’s Sun Records, playing singer Johnny Bragg, the leader of the doo-wop group, The Prisonaires, from behind bars at the Tennessee State Prison. Check out the clip of Sun Records below and watch the show Thursday at 10pm ET on CMT.


    Several members of the country music community are mourning the loss of Rock’n Roll pioneer Chuck Berry over the weekend. According to the New York Times, Berry, who died at his home in Wentzville, Missouri on Saturday at the age of 90, “did as much as anyone to define rock ’n’ roll’s potential and attitude in its early years.”

    Keith Urban was eloquent in his remembrance of Chuck Berry, citing one of his biggest hits, “RIP Chuck Berry !!!! Thank you for the poetry, the passion and the potency! GO JOHNNY GO. – KU”, while Darius Rucker said, “Legend isn’t a big enough word for you sir!!”

    Brothers Osborne paid tribute to his guitar playing skills, saying “This man invented rock guitar as we know it. Thanks for everything, Chuck.” Guitar slinger Clare Dunn said, “Pioneer, game changer: those words barely start to describe . We miss you and the world will never be the same.”


  • NEWS AND NOTES: Keith and Canaan

    Canaan Smith has just released his new single, “Like You That Way,” which he co-wrote with Jesse Frasure and Brett James.

    Keith Urban will perform at the Firestone Tires Legends Concert at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Saturday, May 27th, the day before the 101st Indy 500 race. Special guests include Dustin Lynch and Clayton Anderson.

    Video / Keith Urban Indy promo


    Video / Keith Urban's message to fans about the Firestone Legends Day concert.


    Keith Urban performs his version of Miranda Lambert‘s “Vice” backstage at the Grand Ole Opry.

    Video / Keith Urban performs a snippet of "Vice"


    Keith Urban celebrated the two-week No. 1 success of his recent smash, “Blue Ain’t Your Color,” with a party at Nashville’s Basement East on Friday (March 3rd). The song, written by Hillary Lindsey, Steven Lee Olsen and Clint Lagerberg, was one Keith gravitated toward immediately.

    “It was just an immediate reaction I had to that song,” says Keith. “I loved the lyric, the sentiment, the melody, everything about it. Yeah, it was beautiful.”

    Taking the stage with all three co-writers, producer/guitarist Dann Huff and two of his bandmembers, bassist Jerry  Flowers  and drummer Seth Rausch, Keith performed the tune that spent two weeks at the top of the country charts, sharing vocals with Steven and Hillary

    The song was originally going to go on Steven Lee Olsen’s record, but he told his publishing company the only artist he’d let record “Blue” was Keith, who is the reason the songwriter moved from Canada to Nashville.

    “Blue Ain’t Your Color” is nominated for both Single and Song of the Year at this year’s ACM Awards. Keith is the leading nominee with seven, including Entertainer of the Year, Album of the Year and Male Vocalist of the Year. The 52nd Academy of Country Music Awards, hosted by Luke Bryan and Dierks Bentley, will be broadcast live from the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on April 2nd at 8pm ET/delayed PT on CBS.

    Audio / Keith Urban talks about his immediate reaction to “Blue Ain’t Your Color.”


    Keith Urban (Blue Ain’t Your Color  No. 1) OC: …beautiful. :19
    “It was just immediate. I just, Missy Gallimore sent me this song, and Steven Lee [Olsen] was singing it – he’s a killer singer – and it was just an immediate reaction I had to that song. I loved the lyric, the sentiment, the melody, everything about it. Yeah, it was beautiful.”

    Audio / Hillary Lindsey, Clint Lagerberg ad Steven Lee Olsen talk about pitching “Blue Ain’t Your Color” to Keith Urban.


    Keith Urban (Blue writers on how it was pitched to Keith) OC: (Clint) …made it his. :54
    HILLARY: “We were just screaming hallelujah. I mean, we wrote the  song for Steven for his record, right? And then we decided, well Steven decided, ‘I don’t want any of my songs to be pitched,’ at least that’s the story I heard, ‘but if there’s one song on this record that I want to be pitched it would be ‘Blue Ain’t Your Color,’ but the only person you can pitch it to is Keith Urban.’” STEVEN: “It is true.” [laughter] HILLARY: “So, I didn’t know if it’d actually make it to your ears or not, you know?” CLINT: “What Keith did with it too, ‘cause Steven and I lived with it for so long for his record and how it sounded, it was hard to imagine it any other way. But then when we heard Keith’s version, it was like, ‘Omigosh.’ The simplicity of it is, ah, he just got out of the way of the whole spirit of it and made it his.”

    Video / Blue Ain't Your Color video