Keith Urban has spent most of his adult life on the road, going from bars and clubs to large, sold-out arenas. And while the 51-year-old has gotten much better at taking the stage, thanks to years and years of experience, he admits there are parts of it that will always be a struggle.
"I'm perpetually curious, really, that's what it is," Urban shared with PopCulture.com and other media backstage at the CMA Awards. "I don't think of reinvention, that doesn't resonate with me. I love curiosity and I love passion and I feel fortunate that I have both of those in spades. I feel exactly the same as I did when I moved to town 26 years ago. I feel exactly the same. I get excited to get in the studio, I get excited to try and put a show on. I haven't felt any different, and it's crazy, so that's something I love about collaborating. I love collaborating because it gives me an opportunity to take what I do and go and explore where it can go. And find new places and ways to connect and create. But at the end of the day, I'm an artist. We create."
"The struggle for me in touring is that at some point you can get to a place where you're recreating," Urban continued. "The death for an artist is to recreate, so that's why I'm tinkering with the show every day. [And] because it keeps me engaged, and it keeps it fresh, and it keeps it real, and being present. Being present is everything. It's so important to be in the moment, so we get to do that every night."
Urban spent much of 2018 on his Graffiti U Tour, performing his previous hits and songs from his recent Graffiti U album. The success of the tour undoubtedly helped Urban earn the CMA Award for Entertainer of the Year, a category he had been nominated in a total of 11 times, but hadn't won since 2005.
"It's an indescribable feeling to get that [award] tonight, cause I love playing," Urban said backstage following his big win. "I love entertaining. I love putting on shows. I started playing guitar when I was six, and I came up playing in the clubs, four hours a night, five hours a night, five nights a week. And I wasn't writing songs. I was just schlepping my gear and doing cover tunes and learning my craft. To get to be able to play three, four hours a night of original material is the most extraordinary feeling. And everybody singing along."
Photo Credit: Getty images/Jason Kempin