Keith Urban Has Mixed Emotions About the 2019 CMA Awards Focus on Female Artists

When the 2019 CMA Awards take place later this week, the focus is on celebrating female artists – past, present and future – throughout the broadcast. While Keith Urban is grateful that women are being recognized, he admits he is also sad that it took such a concerted effort to make something happen that should have been happening all along.

"I think it's sad that we have to do something to make this intentional recalibrating of what should have been balanced all along," Urban told ABC Radio. "But I'm glad it's happening."

Urban is nominated for two CMA Awards: for Male Vocalist of the Year and the night's highest honor, Entertainer of the Year, a category he shares with Garth Brooks, Eric Church, Chris Stapleton and Carrie Underwood.

"I feel that it's the strongest its ever been," Urban said of his competition for the Entertainer category, admitting he can't imagine winning the trophy two years in a row.

"[That's] one of those classic things that happens to other people who win it multiple times, right?" Urban reflected, adding, "I couldn't picture it last year either, so don't ask me ... But I will say to be nominated again was pretty surreal."

Urban previously said he was especially proud of Underwood for rightfully earning a nomination for Entertainer of the Year.

"I'm really proud of her, and she's rightly so in that category, as are a lot others that aren't in that category this year, every year," Urban shared with and other media. "But I'm really proud of her, particularly because of the massive tour. She did the 360 Tour. It's a huge success everywhere. And we'll see what happens this year."

Urban will perform an acoustic version of "We Were," his current single written by Church. The song is from an upcoming new album that the New Zealand native hints might have a few surprises.

"There's a couple of collaborations on there," Urban teased. "It's hard to know what ends up making it to an album, versus what might be used in some other way. So I'm just anxious to get new music out, right? You know that feeling."

Other artists scheduled to perform at the CMA Awards include Maren Morris, Miranda Lambert, Willie Nelson with Kacey Musgraves, Stapleton with Pink, Brooks with Blake Shelton, Dan + Shay, Old Dominion and more.


The 2019 CMA Awards will air live from Nashville's Bridgestone Arena on Wednesday, Nov. 13, at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.

Photo Credit: Getty / John Shearer