Keith Urban: Inclusion in Country Music Is ‘On the Right Track’
Keith Urban is happy that country music is "finally" becoming more inclusive, but in a new interview, he admits there's also more work to do.
Urban is co-hosting the 2021 ACM Awards with Mickey Guyton, marking the first time a Black female country artist has ever hosted the program.
The slate of nominees in 2021 is also more diverse than in many years past, including more women and artists of color, and in a virtual appearance on the Ellen DeGeneres Show that airs on Thursday (April 15), Urban says the country genre is "on the right track."
"I mean, there's always work to do, and there's always improvement," Urban acknowledges in the clip below. "But we're definitely moving in the right direction, finally."
Urban appeared with Guyton on the 2020 ACM Awards, accompanying her on piano as she sang "What Are You Gonna Tell Her?" The song is an anthem about the messages society sends girls and women, and Urban tells DeGeneres he thought it "would be great" if they could host together in 2021. He captured Guyton's stunned, elated response when he called to tell her the news.
Jimmie Allen has already been named as the early winner in the category of New Male Artist of the Year in the 2021 ACM Awards, and Kane Brown won Video of the Year. Both wins mark the first time a Black artist has won those categories.
Urban will not only co-host the 2021 ACM Awards on Sunday night (April 18), he's also nominated in the category of Music Event of the Year for his collaboration with Pink on "One Too Many." Urban will also perform during the live broadcast. The 2021 ACM Awards begin at 8PM ET and will air live on CBS and stream live on Paramount+. Sign up for Paramount+ here.