Fifteen years after his first-ever BVJ performance, Keith Urban will be returning to the main stage! Urban’s "ripCORD World Tour 2017" follows the spring 2016 release of his eighth studio album, RIPCORD, which has already produced three No. 1 singles – the Grammy nominated “John Cougar, John Deere, John 3:16”, “Break On Me”, and “Wasted Time”, which stayed atop the charts for two weeks and became Urban’s 21st No. 1 record. RIPCORD’s fourth single, “Blue Ain’t Your Color”, is on country radio and headed towards yet another top position. Urban continues to add to his career CMA Awards nominations, garnering four for the November 2, 2016 event, including Entertainer of the Year and Album of the Year. As the days go by, we’ll be waiting for the upcoming long hot summer when Keith reclaims his rightful place under the BVJ lights!
“You can’t blame gravity for falling in love.”
On Defying Gravity, the openhearted and uplifting new album by Keith Urban, there is a deeply felt musical statement, a life-affirming song cycle marked by a clearheaded sense of passion and hope. From the opening romantic yearning of “Kiss A Girl”, to the heartfelt gratitude of the closing “Thank You”, Defying Gravity offers listeners the inspiring and stirring sound of a great musical artist coming of age and creating his most personal and effecting music yet.
“Fortunately, this is where I am at right now in life, in my marriage, and in my home with a new girl,” Urban says of Defying Gravity’s truly joyful and thankful mood. “And coming down the road that I’ve taken to be here, I do feel a lot of gratitude.”
The road that Keith Urban has traveled to get here has been uniquely his own. How else on earth to explain how this kid, born in Whangarie, New Zealand and raised in Caboolture, Queensland Australia, has grown up to somehow become one of the biggest stars in the very American world of Country music?
Since first moving to Nashville back in 1992, Keith Urban has gradually established himself as an extraordinary singer, songwriter, guitarist, and performer who has brought his own distinctive talent, energy, and charisma to Country music and beyond. In return, Urban has now established himself as both a global superstar and a highly respected artist with the impressive track record to prove it, including Grammy Awards, Country Music Association Awards, Academy of County Music Awards and Australia’s coveted Aria Award. He has a loyally devoted worldwide fan base that comes to see him every time he takes the stage, as he connects with the people who have made it all possible.
Keith Urban’s millions of fans have followed his creative progression from his first American album as a member of The Ranch (1997), through an increasingly accomplished series of the Platinum-selling solo albums, Keith Urban (1999), Golden Road (2002), Be Here (2004), and Love, Pain & the whole crazy thing (2006), as well as the compilation Greatest Hits: 19 Kids (2008).
And so for a decade now, Urban has remained a welcome and enduring presence on Country radio thanks to a series of popular and memorable songs, including such #1 hits as “But For The Grace Of God,” “Somebody Like You,” “Who Wouldn’t Wanna Be Me,” “You’ll Think Of Me,” “Days Go By,” “Making Memories Of Us,” “Better Life,” “You Look Good In My Shirt” and “Start A Band,” Urban’s 2008 guitar and vocal duet with pal, Brad Paisley. And as a core artist on all Country video outlets, Urban’s career to date has also been documented on a series of Platinum video collections.
In recent years, Urban’s remarkable musical gifts have also brought him to numerous places where Country superstars have rarely gone before, whether powerfully dueting with Alicia Keys on the Rolling Stones’ “Gimme Shelter” on the stage of Live Earth, appearing on Saturday Night Live, or sitting inwith the likes of Al Green, Justin Timberlake, BB King and John Mayer at this year’s Grammy Awards.
“I have a real appreciation for the long, colorful, diverse musical road I’ve taken to get here,” Urban explains of his musical journey. “All through my youth in Australia, I got to play in so many different situations. I grew up in Tamworth -- which is sort of the Country music capitol of Australia -- playing and competing there, but I also formed my own band playing West Coast Rock stuff that I loved. Then I got a job as a musical director for a cabaret singer, so I was learning “Twelfth of Never” and “Viva Las Vegas” too. At 16, I had to wear a tuxedo and count off the band. You name it -- I played it in every pub and club in Australia, and that’s given me a great palette to draw upon. I feel very lucky to have all these opportunities to play with so many artists who I really admire. Playing with people -- and playing for people -- is what it’s all about.”
And so Urban is thrilled to get the chance to play for people on his upcoming “Escape Together World Tour” Together with KC Masterpiece© and Kingsford©”, which kicks off in May, and will bring him to fans everywhere throughout the summer, joined by his special guests including Sugarland, Taylor Swift, Dierks Bentley, Jason Aldean, Lady Antebellum, Little Big Town, The Zac Brown Band and even one of his childhood heroes, Glen Campbell.
“With Defying Gravity being a very up record, I feel like these songs lend themselves toward playing live,” Urban says. “We’ve spent a lot of the past year playing arenas, which is mind-blowing, and it feels like these songs will work in that sort of space. Also this year is difficult for a lot of people and going to shows is such a good way to get away from everything. I hope the shows can be a moment to escape from everything and be immersed in this other world for a while -- to sing along and be a part of something else. I love touring and playing for people and having that sense of togetherness, of oneness. I don’t want to play at people, but with people. It’s not me and them, it’s us -- so the idea of escaping together is perfect.”
For all the success and the close relationship he has made with his fans, the road that Keith Urban has taken has not been without its bumps, which only makes the happiness and peace that Urban has finally found in his own life, a subject he explores musically on Defying Gravity, all the more meaningful. Produced by Urban and Dann Huff, another gifted guitarist and longtime collaborator, Defying Gravity looks from a variety of perspectives at love as a life-saving, ever-changing force in our lives, from the excitement of courting on a song like “Sweet Thing”, to the atmospheric heartbreak of “’Til Summer Comes Around”, to the pure desire of “Standing Right In Front Of You”, to the constant longing for a love on “Why’s It Feel So Long.
As Urban explains, “It wasn’t a conscious theme, but listening back, I think the album is about being brave enough to love, which is difficult for a lot of people to do. Most people who have loved have been hurt, and to love for a second or a third time is very, very hard. The tendency is to want to protect and pull back, but that’s the very thing we can’t do.”
With Defying Gravity, Urban is bravely putting his passion, musical and otherwise, on the line as never before. As he explains, “Between marriage and sobriety and having a child, it’s been an extraordinary gift that I just couldn’t have imagined, or maybe I could have imagined but didn’t know how, or when…or if. So, for those things to come together now is absolutely beautiful. It’s allowed me to be present in a way I’ve never quite been. I was always thinking about tomorrow, or the past, anywhere but here. Even though I made an album called Be Here, I still wasn’t ever really here. Now I love being present – I have a lot to be grateful for in the present.”
Listen closely to Defying Gravity -- gratitude has rarely sounded so good.