Keith Urban Unveils New Details About This Year’s Opening CMA Awards Performance

Capitol Nashville

Keith Urban revealed new details of the opening performance at this year’s CMA Awards Tuesday as he celebrated the number-one success of “John Cougar, John Deere, John 3:16” at Nashville’s Rosewall. As previously announced, the show will start with Eric Church and Hank Williams, Jr. performing “Are You Ready for the Country.” The spotlight will then shift to Keith’s collaboration with John Mellencamp.

“It’s going straight into John and I doing a song together and then we go from that into [‘John Cougar, John Deere, John 3:16’]. I don’t know if John’s gonna be a part of this song or not. He could just sing ‘Me, John Deere, John 3:16,’” he joked.

If John is hesitant to sing Keith’s latest hit, the Aussie superstar imagines it has to do with the fact that he hates the moniker his manager made him use at the beginning of his career.

“He’s made no secret of the fact that he has particular feelings about the name John Cougar. And I would think particularly Johnny Cougar. But in the context of the song and the period of the song, it makes sense. Mellencamp’s just got too many syllables,” he quips.

In all, Keith has made 19 trips to number one since he started his career. His latest single, “Break on Me,” was officially released this week.

You can hear the final version of the Urban/Mellencamp collaboration Wednesday, November 4, when the CMA Awards air live on ABC at 8 p.m. ET.

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