Keith Urban Adds Carrie Underwood and Pitbull to “Ripcord,” Explains Why It Was a Long Time Coming

Capitol Nashville

If it feels like Keith Urban’s new album Ripcord has been a long time coming — well, even the Australian superstar has to admit you’re right, taking time to explain exactly how he ended up three singles in by the time the record’s release date was revealed.

“This whole album’s had a really nice organic flow to it, where I’ve just sort of followed it, like water. I’ve just flowed,” he observes. “When ‘John Cougar, John Deere, John 3:16’ was finished and the label heard it, they said, ‘We should put this out,’ although the record was a long way off. We thought, ‘Well, it’ll buy me a little time, I’ll put it out.’ And then it did what it did, which was fantastic.”

“John Cougar, John Deere, John 3:16” went to number one, as did its follow-up.

“It was time for a second single, the record still wasn’t finished. ‘Break on Me’ came out, and then, we’d only written this song at the end of January of this year and recorded it, and it was one of those things that came together in such a way it felt so much like the song we needed next,” he says of his current single, “Wasted Time.” “So it came out, the record’s finished now, and I’m looking forward to everybody getting to hear it.”

One thing you’ll notice on Ripcord is some pretty high-profile special guests, namely Carrie Underwood and rapper Pitbull.

“Carrie and I toured together a few years ago and every night we’d do a song together. I’ve always loved singing with her. We had written this song, ‘The Fighter,’ that needed a female voice and Carrie’s… immediately came to mind. I can’t wait for people to hear it — and hope that we get to do it live,” he says of their collaboration.

The track legendary producer Nile Rodgers worked on, “Sun Don’t Let Me Down,” was almost finished when it occurred to Keith to add Pitbull.

“There was this musical breakdown about halfway into the song that we were going to leave, and then I heard this Pitbull song,” he recalls. “I’ve always loved his vocal style and swagger, and in that moment I could hear his voice in the breakdown of the song. So I called Nile and asked him if he could send the song to Pitbull. Thankfully he felt it, spat out a verse and it was the most incredible feeling hearing him on the track for the first time. It suited the spirit of the song.”

You’ll be able to check out Ripcord in its entirety, when it comes out May 6.

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