Country superstar Keith Urban took to the CMA Awards Wednesday night to debut his brand new single, “Female,” an anthem of encouragement and empowerment inspired by the recent wave of sexual misconduct allegations in the entertainment industry.
While the Country Music Association tried to restrict the media of getting political on the red carpet ahead of tonight’s show, one thing that wasn’t addressed in its request was the recent wave of sexual misconduct. But even if they did, that would not stop Urban, a father of twins and husband to Academy Award winner Nicole Kidman, from performing.
Affected by the slew of news stories popping up every week alleging sexual assault and harassment, Urban told USA Today that from the second he heard the track written by songwriting trio, Nicolle Galyon, Ross Copperman and Shane McAnally — parents of little girls — he knew he wanted to play it for the first time at the 51st CMA Awards.
“I started figuring out how fast we could get into the studio to record it,” Urban said. “It just spoke to me as a father and a husband and a son. The song really touched me for women of all ages and all walks of life. ‘Female’ is such a great title and the right song to write.”
The 49-year-old, who is nominated for five awards this evening, including Male Vocalist of the Year and Entertainer of the Year, said there is a great awareness for what is happening right now.
“Everybody is very, very aware of where we are at right now and the #MeToo and the profound effect that’s having on recalibrating a lot of ways of the past that need to be recalibrated,” Urban said.
Country music has been criticized for years due in part to its lack of female representation, but that is starting to change with artists redirecting the lyrical course of country music when it comes to gender.
Chris Janson’s “Drunk Girl” notably addresses rape culture, while Luke Bryan’s latest “Most People are Good” delivers a show of support for the LGBTQ community as he sings, “I believe you love who you love, ain’t nothin’ you should ever be ashamed of.”