Keith Urban performs on stage during day two of CMA Fest 2023 at Nissan Stadium on June 09, 2023 in Nashville, Tennessee.
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These 20 Keith Urban Songs Showcase His Versatility and Staying Power

Quality hasn't dipped for Keith Urban as his mainstream career enters its fourth decade.

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. Believe it or not, 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 almost 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 upside really took off. For much of his career, Urban made a name for himself with his virtuoso guitar playing, infectious hooks and swoon-worthy vocals.

Let's take a look at the 20 best Urban songs throughout his 11-album solo career (some round this up to 12 because of his work with trio The Ranch). He's gifted us a little bit of everything —love songs, ballads and upbeat hits— and he pulls off this versatility well.

20. "You Look Good in My Shirt" (2002)

Keith Urban performs "Raining on Sunday" at the 38th Annual Academy of Country Music

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Fair comparisons for this guitar-slinging punch of country-rock range from the '90s vibes of Brooks & Dunn to the Heartland rock of John Cougar Mellencamp. It's a solid introduction to Urban's early days as a Nashville star. Listen here.

19. "Street Called Main" (2022)


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In the 20 years in between this and our prior pick, Urban changed with the times. The difference between Nashville production standards jumps out. As artists with longevity in the town typically must do, Urban proved along the way that he can adapt without it overshadowing what initially made him stand out from the pack. Listen here.

18. "We Were Us" (Feat. Miranda Lambert) (2013)

NASHVILLE, TN - NOVEMBER 06: (L-R) Musicians Miranda Lambert and Keith Urban perform during the 47th annual CMA awards at the Bridgestone Arena on November 6, 2013 in Nashville, Tennessee.

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Another must for sustaining country excellence on the highest level, Urban has proven he's a great duet partner and collaborator with the likes of Eric Church, Pink and Taylor Swift. Here, his guitar-and-banjo approach and instantly-recognizable fit like a glove with Lambert's equally-iconic voice. Listen here.

17. "Better Life" (2005)

New Zealander-Australian Country and Pop musician Keith Urban plays acoustic guitar as he performs onstage during ABC Television's 'Good Morning America' at Rumsey Playfield, Central Park, New York, New York, August 12, 2005.

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Variety is the spice of a lively and long-lasting career, but sometimes, you want to hear the essence of what made you fall in love with an artist to begin with. For a slice of classic Urban and quintessential Y2Country, revisit this No. 1. Listen here.

16. "Nightfalls" (2022)

LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 06: (EDITORIAL USE ONLY) Keith Urban performs at Eventim Apollo on May 06, 2022 in London, England.

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Keith Lionel Urban incorporates shades of Lionel Richie's smooth, pop-friendly R&B without overshadowing time-tested country elements. Along with "Brown Eyes Baby" and "Wild Hearts," it proves that Urban hasn't lost a step as his career enters its fourth decade. Listen here.

15. "But For the Grace of God" (2000)

ALLENTOWN - AUGUST 23: Keith Urban performs at Crocodile Rock on August 23, 2000 in Allentown, Pennsylvania.

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Urban co-wrote this one with Charlotte Caffey and Jane Wiedlin of The Go-Go's. It became his first No. 1 single in America and jumpstarted his career to becoming a global country star. Released in 2000 as the first single off Urban's self-titled US debut album, he proved he was a voice that deserved to be played on country radio alongside the greats of Nashville. Listen here.

14. "Kiss a Girl" (2009)

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - DECEMBER 12: Keith Urban performs on stage at the Rod laver Arena on December 12, 2009 in Melbourne, Australia.

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One of the standouts on Urban's 2009 album Defying Gravity, "Kiss a Girl" is the epitome of an upbeat love song. Reaching No. 3, the sweet song is about the narrator wanting to fall in love. The lyrics are feel-good and easy to sing along with. It's still one of the superstar's most memorable hits. Listen here.

13. "Put You In a Song" (2010)

NASHVILLE, TN - JUNE 07: Musician Keith Urban performs onstage during Day 1 of rehearsals for the 2011 CMT Music Awards at Bridgestone Arena on June 7, 2011 in Nashville, Tennessee.

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A No. 2 hit, Urban co-wrote it 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 crush and wanting to write a song about her. Listen here.

12. "The Fighter" (Feat. Carrie Underwood) (2017)

NASHVILLE, TN - JUNE 07: Carrie Underwood (L) and Keith Urban (R) perform onstage during the 2017 CMT Music Awards at the Music City Center on June 7, 2017 in Nashville, Tennessee.

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This duet with Carrie Underwood from Urban's 2017 album Ripcord was one of the decade's best superstar collaborations. It won Vocal Event of the Year at the ACM Awards and Collaborative Video of the Year at the CMT Awards. Listen here.

11. "Somewhere In My Car" (2013)

NASHVILLE, TN - APRIL 16: Keith Urban performs during Keith Urban's Fourth annual We're All For The Hall benefit concert at Bridgestone Arena on April 16, 2013 in Nashville, Tennessee.

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While Sam Hunt co-write "Cop Car" earned some buzz for Urban, it's the second car-themed single from his 2013 album Fuse that lit up the airwaves. Urban penned "Somewhere In My Car" with J.T. Harding, and the lonesome, poppy tune with a ripping, wah pedal-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. Listen here.

10. "Blue Ain't Your Color" (2016)

NASHVILLE, TN - AUGUST 30: Singer Keith Urban performs onstage during the 10th Annual ACM Honors at the Ryman Auditorium on August 30, 2016 in Nashville, Tennessee.

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One of Urban's most commercially successful songs, "Blue Ain't Your Color," was one of his biggest crossover hits and earned him two Grammy nominations. The song brought 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. Listen here,

9. "Long Hot Summer" (2010)

LAS VEGAS - APRIL 18: Musician Keith Urban during the 45th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on April 18, 2010 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

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From 2011's Get Closer, "Long Hot Summer" might be Urban's catchiest hit. With strong '80s pop-rock vibes, the song recaptured some of the rockier sounds Urban put aside for a little while in the late aughts. It became his 13th No. 1 single. Listen here.

8. "John Cougar, John Deere, John 3:16" (2016)

NASHVILLE, TN - JUNE 12: Musician Keith Urban performs onstage during 2016 CMA Festival - Day 4 at Nissan Stadium on June 12, 2016 in Nashville, Tennessee.

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This Shane McAnally, Ross Copperman and Josh Osborne co-write peaked at No. 2 on the charts and 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. It lies somewhere creatively between the rural singalongs of "bro-country" and the bluesy grooves of Led Zeppelin. Listen here.

7. "You're Not My God" (2002)

NASHVILLE, TN - JUNE 15: Singer Keith Urban performs at FanFair, the world's largest country music festival, June 15, 2002 in Nashville, Tennessee.

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A deep cut that never got the single treatment, "You're Not My God" was written by Urban and Paul Jefferson. It ends Urban's 2002 breakout album Golden Road, and it remains one of the superstar's most poignant songs with direct references to personal struggles before he went down a path to a better life. After Urban recovered from addiction with the help of his wife Nicole Kidman, "You're Not My God" hit home harder. Listen here.

6. "Who Wouldn't Wanna Be Me" (2003)

Keith Urban performs "Raining on Sunday" at the 38th Annual Academy of Country Music

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This early mainstream career No. 1 checks off so many boxes when it comes to the ingredients of an Urban hit. Nostalgic lyrics and a strong vocal performance blend with fiery guitar work. Indeed, it holds up against anything that follows it in our rankings. Listen here.

5. "You'll Think Of Me" (2002)

NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 15: ( MANDATORY CREDIT Bill Tompkins/Getty Images ) Keith Urban performs on August 15th, 2002 in New York City.

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"You'll Think Of Me" was the fourth single from Golden Road and another No. 1 hit. It stayed 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. Listen here.

4. "Making Memories Of Us" (2004)

Keith Urban during Keith Urban Live in Concert - October 27, 2004 at The Beacon Theater in New York City, New York, United States.

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The 2004 album Be Here carried on. Urban's forward 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 is one of his most sentimental and down-to-earth love ballads. The Rodney Crowell solo write's narrator tells the story about why the one you love is your everything and how special it is to make memories together. Listen here.

3. "Days Go By" (2004)

Keith Urban performs at HP Pavilion on December 16, 2004 in San Jose, California.

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Speaking of Be Here, album opener "Days Go By" is one of Urban's most danceable hits, with an inspirational message to boot. It's 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. Listen here.

2. "Stupid Boy" (2006)

Keith Urban's Grammy rehearsal

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To this day, Urban includes "Stupid Boy" as an acoustic song near the very end of his concerts, and to this day, it brings tears to thousands of fans' eyes. The six minute-plus stunner also earned Urban his second Grammy award for Best Male Vocal Country Performance (2008). Listen here.

1. "Somebody Like You" (2002)

Keith Urban at Farm Aid in Pittsburgh, Pa. on 9/21/02

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It's hard to argue against "Somebody Like You" topping this list. The lead-off single to his critically acclaimed Golden Road album, "Somebody Like You," is the quintessential Urban song. Its infectious banjo accompaniment spent six weeks at No. 1 and catapulted Urban into the mainstream country stratosphere. Listen here.

This post was originally published on December 29, 2017. It was updated on July 25, 2023. 

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