Keith Urban threw viewers a curve ball at the 2019 Academy of Country Music Awards. His performance wasn’t his own single or even his own track, but instead he chose a cover of a song from an Irish singer-songwriter who may not be well-known to most of the audience.
The song was “Burden,” a heavy, harrowing roots rock song by Foy Vance off his 2016 album The Wild Swan. Earlier in the day, Urban teased the cover in a video uploaded to his Instagram account. He described “Burden” as “something I heard recently that really spoke to me.” His impassioned vocal performance before the crowd at the MGM Grand Garden Arena definitely reflected that.
Minutes after the performance ended, the studio version of Urban’s “Burden” cover became available on numerous streaming services. This version was produced by Urban alongside Dave Cobb.
Urban’s most recent studio album is 2018’s Graffiti U. He’s nominated for entertainer of the year and male artist of the year at this year’s ACMs.
Watch a clip of the performance above.