Keith Urban's songs age like a fine wine. And for a guitar slinger who has been at it for decades, it's inspiring to see him still leading the way in mainstream country. Urban released his debut album the same year as Alan Jackson and one year before Brooks & Dunn. That's right; Urban got the ball rolling with his first major-label album in Australia back in 1990. His U.S. debut was a decade later, but he still had a ton of experience under his belt by the time he made it to Music City.
When he made his way to Nashville, Urban's country music career really took off. For much of his career, Urban made a name for himself with his virtuoso guitar playing and infectious hooks. He recently started collaborating more with other artists like Brad Paisley, Tim McGraw, Taylor Swift, Miranda Lambert, and Eric Church as well which has been a fun change of pace.
His greatest hits album came out in 2007, and the hits just keep on coming. The numerous honorable mentions include "You Look Good In My Shirt," "Til Summer Comes Around," "Who Wouldn't Wanna Be Me," "Raining on Sunday," "Where the Blacktop Ends," "Sweet Thing," and "You're My Better Half." Does the man have any bad songs? I don't even think he's capable of it.
Let's take a look at the best Keith Urban songs throughout his 12-album career. He's got a little bit of everything; love songs, ballads, upbeat hits. Where would we be without you, Keith Urban?
14. "But For the Grace of God"
Keith Urban, a young Australian country singer at the time, co-wrote this song with Charlotte Caffey and Jane Wiedlin of The Go-Go's. It ended up being his very first number one hit in the United States and jumpstarted his career to becoming a global country star. Released in 2000 as the first single off Urban's self-titled U.S. debut album, he proved he was a voice that deserved to be played on country radio alongside the greats of Nashville.
13. "Kiss a Girl"
One of the standouts on Urban's 2009 album Defying Gravity, "Kiss a Girl" is the epitome of an upbeat love song. Reaching number three on the billboards, the sweet song is all about the narrator wanting to fall in love with a girl. The lyrics are feel-good, easy to sing along with, and still one of the superstar's most memorable hits.
12. "Put You In a Song"
A number two hit on the charts, Urban co-wrote this hit for his 2010 album Get Closer. He's the king of catchy lyrics, and this one is impossible not to love. It's about the narrator falling for an unattainable girl and wanting to write a song about her.
11. "The Fighter" feat. Carrie Underwood
This duet with Carrie Underwood for Urban's 2017 album Ripcord was one of the best country songs of the year. It won Vocal Event of the Year at the ACM Awards and Collaborative Video of the Year at the CMT Awards. Dare I say it might be one of his all-time best duets as well.
10. "Somewhere In My Car"
While Sam Hunt's "Cop Car" earned some buzz for Urban, it's the second car-themed single from his 2013 album Fuse that really lit up the radio. Urban penned "Somewhere In My Car" with J.T. Harding, and the lonesome, poppy tune with a ripping, wah-laced guitar solo immediately became a fan favorite. There's a reason he chose the song to open both that album and a lot of his concerts after its release.
9. "Blue Ain't Your Color"
One of Urban's most commercially successful songs, "Blue Ain't Your Color," was one of his biggest cross-over hits and earned him two Grammy nominations. The song is a notably different vibe for Urban, which is probably part of the reason it did so well in the "Adult Contemporary" radio world as well as the country charts. The song also won Single of the Year at the 2017 CMA Awards.
8. "Long Hot Summer"
From 2011's Get Closer, "Long Hot Summer" might be Urban's catchiest hit (arguably). With strong 1980s pop-rock vibes, the song recaptured some of the rockier sounds Urban put aside for a little while in the late 2000s. It became his 13th No. 1 single.
7. "John Cougar, John Deere, John 3:16"
Another of his more recent songs, this song penned by writers Shane McAnally, Ross Copperman, and Josh Osborne, peaked at No. 2 on the charts but still became one of his most-played songs off Ripcord. It also is the first time Urban cast aside his signature guitar and instead plucked a bass. And it's pretty darn 'Merican for an Aussie. The song eventually lost the Grammy to Chris Stapleton, which, honestly, is about as good as you can hope for when you're up against him.
6. "You're Not My God"
A deep cut that never got the single treatment, "You're Not My God" was written by Keith Urban and Paul Jefferson. It ends his 2002 breakout album Golden Road, and it remains one of Urban's most poignant songs with direct references to money and drug addiction before he went down a path to a better life. Now, in particular, after Urban recovered from addiction with the help of his wife Nicole Kidman, "You're Not My God" matters even more. Nothing inspires you more than that once-in-a-lifetime love you find from meeting the right person. It's a love thing.
5. "You'll Think Of Me"
Wouldn't you know it, another incredible ballad from Golden Road? "You'll Think Of Me" was the fourth single from the record and another No. 1 hit. The song remains in heavy radio rotation on several formats, including the Adult Contemporary stations, thanks to it peaking at No. 2 on that chart. Who knew a line like, "Take your cat but leave my sweater" could be so emotional? The song earned Urban his first Grammy award in 2006.
4. "Making Memories Of Us"
2004's Be Here carried Urban's momentum and cemented him as the real deal in mainstream country. "Making Memories Of Us" may be Urban's best wedding song (a tough feat) and easily one of his most sentimental and down-to-earth love songs. Is it any surprise that Rodney Crowell wrote it all by himself? The narrator really tells the story about how the one you love is your everything and how special it is to make memories together. Even years later, it's easy to tear up to this song, just try it. But know I told you so.
3. "Days Go By"
Speaking of Be Here, album opener "Days Go By" is one of Urban's danciest hits, with an inspirational message to boot. It's almost got an Irish jig vibe to it, and it gets the crowd on their feet every time, which is precisely why he almost always plays it live. Urban wrote it with Monty Powell.
2. "Stupid Boy"
To this day, Urban includes "Stupid Boy" as an acoustic song near the very end of his concert, and to this day, it brings watery eyes to thousands of fans. The song also earned Urban his second Grammy award for Best Male Vocal Country Performance in 2008.
1. "Somebody Like You"
It's hard to argue with "Somebody Like You" topping this list. The lead-off single to his critically acclaimed Golden Road album, "Somebody Like You," is the quintessential Keith Urban song. It spent six weeks at No. 1 and really catapulted Urban into the mainstream country eye.
This post was originally published on December 29, 2017.
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