Keith Urban's audience at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum on Thursday morning was an honest one. The "For You" singer participated in an educational program for selected Metro Nashville Public School high school students, answering questions from program moderator and museum editor Michael Gray for the first few minutes, and then the singer fielded questions from the students in attendance.
Some of the students showed quite a bit of Music City savvy. One asked him to address the rumors that he will be named as a judge on the next season of "American Idol."
"I would love to do it and hopefully that happens," he said. "I did get to do a similar role in Australia for 'The Voice,' and I really enjoyed it. The thing about those shows is that mentoring aspect... it's about passing it on."
Four area schools participated in the program, with students from Nashville School of the Arts, Pearl Cohn, John Overton, and Cane Ridge High Schools all being represented in the Hall's Ford Theater.
At the beginning of the event, Gray asked Urban about his earliest musical memories. He responded by saying that he remembers being a fan of certain songs as a youngster, rather than of particular artists. However, as he grew up, he remembered hearing a lot of Charley Pride, Merle Haggard, Glen Campbell, and Don Williams in his home growing up. The recent Grand Ole Opry inductee also recalled the first concert he ever attended - Johnny Cash in Brisbane.
The students got their turn next, and the questions covered a wide range of topics. The first question addressed how the CMA Male Vocalist of the Year nominee felt about having his dreams come true, to which he said that he was still waiting for that feeling. Urban's approach to songwriting was also asked about, as well as his establishing a successful career in the United States after gaining fame in his native Australia. In one rather remarkable piece of advice, Urban recalled asking a friend why he had yet to break through in the States while in the band The Ranch. "You're unique, which is your biggest curse - until it's your biggest blessing." The remark seemed to make an impact with the teenage crowd.
One student asked him if he ever used dancers in his stage show. After the singer replied "No," she presented him with a resume -- which prompted a smile and a hug from the singer.
He was also asked about this week's CMA nominations, to which he replied that it was a "very euphoric moment. It wasn't an awards category that we though we would find ourselves in, being a little further in our career," said Urban, who has been a Billboard chart fixture since 1999. "It means more now - not to say that it didn't then, but it touches me in new ways," he said.
He concluded the hour with an acoustic version of his "Stupid Boy" hit single.
Urban's "For You" is currently at No. 6 this week on the Billboard Top Country Songs chart.
- The 615