Keith Urban Enjoys Mixing Rock and Roll in With His Country Music

Keith Urban is a little bit country and a little bit of rock and roll, at least when it comes to his own music. Urban's current single, "We Were," includes a line from Def Leppard's "Pour Some Sugar on Me," while his previous hit, "We Were," referenced Guns N' Roses "Sweet Child of Mine."

"Well I loved that those guys used that reference in that song, because it's such a musical juxtaposition of the style of song. And I really loved that about it," Urban said (via ABC News Radio), referring to songwriters Eric Church, Ryan Tyndell and Jeff Hyde. "It did remind me a little bit of what we did with 'Wasted Time' as well, name-checking Guns N' Roses, 'leaning out the window singing 'Sweet Child of Mine,'' because the song's nothing like that."

Urban has never shied away from his love of multiple genres of music, both with what he listens to and what he performs, and wagers he is not alone in that fondness.

"There's something true about the diversity of music so many people listen to," said the singer. "You know, you could have a George Strait CD and you could have a Def Leppard CD, or really just everything in the car. I mean, everything is open now. Everyone listens to everything.

"But I also love that 'Pour Some Sugar on Me' was just such a classic visual," he added. "Of course you'd be singing that at the top of your lungs at a club."

Urban loved the entire lyric of "We Were," and not just the Def Leppard reference, from the first time he listened.

"When I first heard 'We Were,' I not only heard it, but saw it. It made me feel something," Urban explained of the song. "The imagery is so strong — a stamp on the back of the hand, a Saturday night cover band, the girlfriend (or boyfriend) we ran with and a fake ID., which of course I never had. So many of us can relate or will relate at some point!"

The reigning ACM Entertainer of the Year will include "We Were" on his next record, which he hints might be even more eclectic than the ones in the past.

"The listener is always going to decide what genre it fits into," Urban previously told Rolling Stone Country. "I've always made music that has felt not as country necessarily, that someone in Nashville may say, 'Oh, this isn't very country,' but everybody else would say, 'That's totally country. What else is it?' It's all relative to where you are, what you're immersed in, and how you define genres as a listener."

Download "We Were" on iTunes.

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Photo Credit: Getty images/Tim Mosenfelder