Keith Urban fans would say that the singer has walked a country mile this year.
The 52-year-old superstar is about to drop a new album and has just been announced as the host of the 55th Academy of Country Music Awards (airing Wednesday night on CBS).
But like many of us, Urban has been stuck at home due to the Coronavirus pandemic, and has had to get used to life as a travelling musician with no place to perform.
And now the Blue Ain’t Your Colour singer has spoken about how life has been for him in quarantine.
“Besides music, what have you been doing during quarantine?” correspondent Tracy Smith asked Urban.
“Just kicking back,” he laughed. “I confess that I was…I didn’t transition smoothly into this new way of doing things.”
Urban said that his initial reaction was to simply “put my sweatpants on, sit on the couch, watch TV with the family, and wait ’til the whole thing blows over.”
But it took, in his words, a good kick in the pants to get off the couch and do something.
“The turning point came, I have a friend of mine who I call sometimes for advice. And I was telling him what was going on.
“And I’m like, ‘I can’t do this and I can’t do that and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.’ And he said, ‘Keith, is there anything that you can do?’”
Once Urban got back in the game, things started to happen for him, including a benefit performance at a Nashville Drive-In, a feat never performed by a musician.
“Did you go into that being a little apprehensive?” Smith asked during her interview with Urban.
“Yeah, absolutely!” Urban said.
“I mean, I’m playing a drive-in! Great! Didn’t have that on the list of things to do in my life, but here we go, you know?”
The chaos of 2020 followed the country star into the recording studio as well. He says that his latest album, The Speed of Now, Part 1, was finished under the cloud of the pandemic and that you can feel that in the music.
For example, the song Out the Cage is about something a lot of people can relate to just now: an overwhelming need to escape.
And another good thing that’s come about for Urban during quarantine: he has been performing free concerts for his fans on social media!
As the title of his new album suggests, Keith Urban is used to living life at full speed. But he’s found out that some of the biggest rewards can only come out of slowing down.
Smith asked if Urban was hopeful he would play for audiences again.
“I’m always hopeful,” Urban replied.
“We will learn so much from this moment, so much. And when this comes again – and there’s no doubt it will at some point – we’ll be way better prepared for it, and I think just have a new way of doing things.
“We’re always gonna play somehow, some way. We’re gonna figure out a way to do it.”
For more info:
55th Academy of Country Music Awards hosted by Keith Urban on September 16 at 8pm. ET on CBS
The Speed of Now, Part 1 by Keith Urban (Capitol Nashville), available September 18.
Written by Jackson Miller