Keith Urban could add several more CMA Awards to his 11
Even if fans were surprised by his most recent album, Keith Urban knew exactly what he wanted to do.
The result – “Graffiti U” – has made the superstar singer-songwriter-guitarist a nominee again in three of the top categories in the CMA Awards. He’ll also perform as ABC airs the 52nd annual edition of the Country Music Association’s honors Wednesday, Nov. 14, from Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena. Teaming with Brad Paisley to host for the 11th consecutive year, Carrie Underwood will be in the same condition she was at the 2014 event, expecting a child (her second with hockey-veteran husband Mike Fisher).
Last year’s single of the year winner for “Blue Ain’t Your Color,” Urban surely is no stranger to the CMA Awards. Having received 11 of the awards thus far, he now has his 11th nomination for entertainer of the year and his 14th bid for male vocalist of the year, and the personally significant “Graffiti U” has yielded his sixth try for album of the year.
“It’s a groundbreaking record in a lot of ways,” the friendly Urban says, “I think a lot of people thought it was kind of risky when they heard it, but for me as an artist, it felt true and authentic. What’s been interesting about it is watching the record take hold as we’ve been touring. I’ve met people who have been like, ‘I saw you play live, then I went back and heard the record, and I ‘get’ this.’ I love that.”
Still, Urban admits he omitted one of its tunes from his concerts for a while: “There are a lot of things I love about the song ‘Female,’ including the fact that it’s posed as questions, which is a beautiful way to write a song that’s going to bring out points for discussion. When you hear a song saying that you run the world, do you believe it?
“I was devastated, though, when it got picked up by the the media as just being some song about Harvey Weinstein. I was gutted to my core, because that’s not why I recorded it and that’s not what it’s about. I stopped playing it for a moment, because it was being completely misrepresented. Then I put it back in, because I knew why I recorded it and what it means to me. It will always be in my set now.”
After spending much of 2018 touring to support “Graffiti U,” Urban will resume live performances in January in Australia – after wife Nicole Kidman’s movie “Destroyer” opens for Christmas, and before he heads to Europe to play even more dates. “It’s fertile fields right now,” he reflects, “and I’m very grateful for it.”