Keith Urban teamed up with pop star Julia Michaels at the ACM Awards for the first TV performance of their new collaboration, "Coming Home." She doesn't sing until the bridge, though, so most of the performance featured Urban singing solo in front a giant video screen.
Classic country fans will instantly recognize Merle Haggard's iconic "Mama Tried" guitar riff popping up on top of a drum track throughout "Coming Home." That's a pop-country mashup few artists besides Urban have the credibility to even attempt, much less pull off. Urban did get approval from Haggard's widow, Theresa, and his son, Ben, for his use of the guitar intro.
So, how did Urban and Michaels come to share the stage? It turns out Urban reached out to Michaels via Twitter to let her know he was a fan of her music. They started writing and recording together from there, with "Coming Home" growing out of those sessions.
"Coming Home" is the latest release from Urban's new album, Graffiti U, due April 27th. The project also includes Urban's #MeToo movement anthem "Female."