Keith Urban opens up about the song that pays homage to the "best years of his life" Getty Images
Getty Images

Keith Urban didn’t waste any time creating memories in the last year. In 2016, he finished his stint as a judge on FOX’s “American Idol,” celebrated his 10-year wedding anniversary to wife Nicole Kidman, and recently went home to play the Australian version of America’s Super Bowl — the National Rugby League (NRL) Telstra Premiership Grand.

Another memory that the 48-year-old Aussie can also look back on is seeing his song “Wasted Time” top the Billboard’s Country Airplay chart. But, he didn’t do that without the help of a few talented co-writers.

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Keith wrote “Wasted Time” with pop-tinged songwriters Greg Wells and James Abrahart. The thumping tune from the Aussie’s 2016 “Ripcord” album focuses on the idea of someone having a series of nostalgic flashbacks after seeing an old photo. But, what’s even cooler is that the song’s meaning created a kinship between the writers.

“It was a song about the shared experience the three of us had,” said Keith in the video above, “Greg grew up in Canada and James grew up in Atlanta and I grew up in Australia. Yet, the three of us had the same kind of memories of growing up and just goofing off in the little town you’re from.”

Keith continued, “Drinking, smoking, hanging out down by the river and the rope swing and all the imagery was pretty universal for the three of us. So, we wrote this song, and we recorded it pretty quick as well, and it seemed like the perfect third single off this album with the summer coming.”

“Wasted Time” was the first song that Keith, James and Greg penned together. Keith expressed that, at the time, he felt his “Ripcord” album was still unfinished.

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“One of the great things about how long this record took to make was that I was still writing songs,” said Keith, “and I went and wrote a song with two guys who I had never met, but we got together and first thing we wrote was ‘Wasted Time.’”


To cap off a year of incredible memories, Keith is gearing up to headline Music City’s highly anticipated New Year’s celebration, titled the 2016 Jack Daniel’s Music City Midnight: New Year’s Eve in Nashville. Now, that’s time well spent!

Nashville-based writer and Rare Country contributor Melinda Lorge has always been passionate about country music. Follow her @MelindaLorge and join the conversation @RareCountry.
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