CMA Fest: Keith Urban Explains Why He Keeps Coming Back Every Year

Keith Urban might have to make special arrangements for all of his performances and appearances during CMA Fest every year, but he credits the fans for doing all of the hard work. The "We Were" singer admits his job as an artist is much, much easier than the thousands of people who come out every year to see all of the live music.

"The thing I always think about is the logistics of somebody in the audience coming to a show," Urban shared with and other media backstage at CMA Fest. "There's a lot. I mean, for artists, a lot of the time, the bus shows up and we're there. But for a lot of the audience, there's hotel rooms to book and babysitters and time off work. There's so many things, to be able to come to a show. So, it means everything to them, that [artist] on stage means everything to them.

"Some have been looking forward to it for months and months, or the better part of a year sometimes, for CMA Fest," he added. "So I always think about that, coming on stage. This might be a 35 minute set for us, but it's something that some people have looked forward to for so long."

Urban not only performed as part of the final lineup at Nissan Stadium on Sunday night (June 9), but he also made a surprise appearance the night before, to join Billy Ray Cyrus and Lil Nas X on "Old Town Road."

"I just loved the song, when I heard it," Urban explained. "I loved the record too. Those are sometimes very separate things, a song to a record. But I just loved it, and wanted to do my little cover version of it on my banjo and from that very spontaneous moment, Nas saw the piece that I did and really loved it apparently. Then next thing I know, I'm playing with them."

"Old Town Road" might have stirred up controversy when it came to fitting into the country genre, but none of that matters to Urban.

"I'm most inspired by new music, of any kind," Urban said. Well, first of all, it's new; I've not heard it, and a lot of the times it's the form that it takes. You get a lot of artists now that, we talked about this earlier, actually, somebody like Nas, and a lot of acts, artists like him, they don't play a traditional instrument. The laptop, or Pro Tools or whatever, multi-tracking, that's their instrument, and it's a legitimate instrument."


Photo Credit: Getty images/ Jason Kempin