Award shows are always a great opportunity for recording artists to showcase their current single or most recent smash. Show producers also have a lot of say into what songs stars perform on the broadcast. Once in a while, though, an artist chooses to perform a brand new song, so new, in fact, that they’re still learning the song themselves. That’s what happened with Keith Urban this year when he opted to sing “Female” at the Nov. 8 CMA Awards.

Keith recently stopped in to chat with artist and syndicated country radio personality Kix Brooks, and one of the topics for discussion was the Aussie’s compelling performance of his most timely tune.

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“The writers, Shane McAnally, Ross Copperman and Nicolle Galyon, wrote [‘Female’] on Oct. 10, and I heard it the next day, Oct. 11,” he said.

While putting his vocal on a demo of the song so he could decide if he wanted to record it for his record, a switch flipped for Keith. “As I was singing on it, I thought, ‘This feels really right. Something else is going on with this song. This feels righter than right.’ I finished it and I sent it to my manager and he said, ‘I think you need to sing that song on the CMAs.’”

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With just under a month to go before the award show, and a planned vacation for his birthday, Keith wasn’t able to get with his producers to record the song until Oct. 31. The show was the next week.

Keith admitted, “There’s a time when you don’t really know a song very well, and I’m just trying to stay in the zone of the song, so I was pretty oblivious to everything that was going on in front of me. There’s a lot of words in the song, too, and I don’t know the song that well yet. And it’s a live show. There was a lot of compartmentalizing.”

Compartmentalizing? Call it what you will. We call it amazing!

But then again, Keith is an all-around amazing guy. He’s also nominated for Opry Moment and Male Artist of the Year in the Rare Country Awards, and it’s up to you to decide the winners. Vote now through Dec. 13 at Winners will be revealed during a livestreamed concert event on Dec. 14 in Nashville.

Based in Nashville, Tammy is a 20-year veteran of the country music community. She has worked in marketing, PR and artist development. Follow her @TammyGooGoo and join the conversation @RareCountry
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