BMI proclaims Keith Urban a Champion, as he prepares to vie for five CMA Awards

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Tuesday night at the 65th annual BMI Country Awards, the performing rights organization honored Keith Urban with its Champion Award, for his efforts to further music education and help the next generation of music-makers.

“I love what I get to do, not just the music part, but to be able to give back,” the Aussie superstar said before the ceremony in Music City. “Because Nashville’s been my home for 25 years and it’s been so good to me. I’ve been helped so much in my life by other people that obviously having opportunities to do that now is just a natural thing for me.”

On Wednesday night, Keith vies for five trophies at the 51st Annual CMA Awards: Entertainer, Male Vocalist, Music Video, and Single of the Year for “Blue Ain’t Your Color.” He also could pick up a second piece of hardware for “Blue” because he helped produce the RipCord track.

“They all mean something different,” he says thoughtfully, “but I think collectively, just to be nominated is pretty bada**. It really is. I mean, that’s incredible. I always say it, but it’s true: I just love making music, I love making records, I love touring. I’d be doing it no matter what happened. So when it happens with that kind of acknowledgement, it’s a beautiful feeling.”

Keith will also perform on the show that starts at 8 p.m. ET Wednesday night, live from Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena.

“Oh, it’s great!” he says of the chance to sing on the show. “I mean, it’s the CMAs. I remember opening with Brad Paisley one year, and the curtain was about to open and I said to him, I go, ‘We’re opening the CMAs!’ And just high-fiving each other, just to not let that moment be lost on us. Because this is 51 years of the CMAs. It’s extraordinary.”

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