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Keith Urban on Two Decades of Hitting No. 1 – ‘It’s Like Hearing I Love You’ – On the Chart Beat Podcast

Urban and UMG Nashville president Cindy Mabe are this week's special guests.

Welcome to the Billboard Chart Beat Podcast, where each week co-hosts Gary Trust and Trevor Anderson, from the Billboard charts department, discuss why what’s on the charts … is on the charts, while also looking at current chart action in a historical context for even greater insights.

This week’s special guests are Keith Urban and Universal Music Group Nashville president Cindy Mabe, as interviewed by Billboard‘s Nashville-based senior chart manager Jim Asker.


The latest in a continuing series of interviews (following, among others, Florida Georgia Line, Maren Morris and Luke Bryan; get caught up here) sheds more light into the dynamic between country artists and labels, as Urban, Mabe and Asker recount Urban’s lofty chart history, which includes 38 consecutive top 10 singles and 16 No. 1 hits on Billboard‘s Hot Country Songs chart.

“I love that I still get to do what I love to do,” Urban says. “Capitol [Records] and I have been together a long, long time; I signed in 1997. So, to still be there 21 years later is extraordinary. It’s a testament to how supportive the label has been of me and my music and where I’m interested in going with it.”

Reflecting on his bevy of chart leaders, including his latest album, Graffiti U, which launched as his sixth leader on Top Country Albums in May, “It’s an amazing feeling, absolutely,” Urban says of hitting No. 1. “It’s like hearing, ‘I love you.’ “

Urban (who – special treat alert – breaks into song during the podcast) also chats about how he knows when an album he’s working on feels finished; who picks his singles, including his latest, “Never Comin Down”; singing with Julia Michaels on his most recent Country Airplay chart top 10, “Coming Home”; and, if he ever gets downtime (with wife Nicole Kidman).

Adds Mabe, about Michaels and other female artists who have collaborated with Urban, including Carrie Underwood, “We’re always better as a format when we’re wide – lots of diversity.”

Enjoy the latest Billboard Chart Beat Podcast and remember that you can be a part of it by calling the new Chart Beat Podcast hotline: 212-493-4021 (aka, “40-to-1” … like a countdown!) Call with your chart questions and/or observations for us to play back and respond to, and check back for additional upcoming episodes with artists, label executives, radio programmers and personalities, songwriters, producers and more. And, to receive every episode automatically in your inbox, subscribe to (and rate) the Billboard Chart Beat Podcast on iTunes!

Plus, the Billboard Chart Beat Podcast is now available on an expanded range of platforms! You can listen on Acast, Spotify, iTunes, Google Play, Overcast, PocketCast, Podbean, Stitcher and TuneIn.