CMA Entertainer of the Year Keith Urban Says ‘Finding Commonality’ Makes His Live Shows Special
Keith Urban -- who last won the title 13 years ago, in 2005 -- seemed genuinely shocked to hear his name called as the winner in the category of Entertainer of the Year at the 2018 CMA Awards on Wednesday evening (Nov. 14), but that surprise isn't for lack of hard work. In fact, Urban has been so hard at work on his Graffiti U World Tour that some have joked that he's been preparing for the win for the entirety of 2018.
"Someone said, 'Did you do any campaigning?' I just played every night. That was it," Urban said to media backstage at the ceremony after accepting his award. "We did what we do every other tour."
Still, Urban admits that he thinks long and hard about how to go to the extra mile at each and every show. "I really care about what goes on onstage ... When someone comes into an arena and you walk out and start playing, I want them to know where their money went. To say, 'Oh yeah, it's right there,'" he explains. "I like the feeling that this person I'm entrusting to take me away for a couple of hours really gives me something. The best concerts I ever went to didn't impress me, they inspired me."
Urban goes on to say that even in -- and in fact, especially in -- culturally divisive times, a big part of the value of live concerts is to find commonality that all people can share. "The spirit of commonality is really at the center of our concerts," he says. "For me, it's never been a more important time. There's so much diversity, and that's cool, but I think finding what we have in common is the real center of our concerts.
"We have so much more in common than we do different," he adds. "We have fears and hopes and egos and sicknesses and dysfunctional families. We have so much in common. I feel that more in my life than I've ever felt it, and playing live shows is no different."
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