‘But for the Grace of God’ by Keith Urban: Story Behind His First #1 Song

by Will Shepard

Keith Urban is one of the most popular country singers in the world. Urban was born in Whangarei, New Zealand, and then moved to Australia, where he began his music career. Since then, he has become one of the best-selling country artists.

Urban released his third single, “But for the Grace of God” in 1999. But, almost two years later, it became his first number one country hit on February 24, 2001. It also marks the first time that he got a song into the Top 40 on Billboard Music Hot 100.

This single was also Urban’s debut American album called Keith Urban. The album itself did well on the charts, reaching number 17 on the US Top Country Albums chart. Four of the songs also reached the top 20 on the US charts, while three of those songs cracked the top five spots.

Keith Urban’s Song Was Not The Perfect Collaboration

Urban wrote the song with Charlotte Caffey and Jane Wiedlin from The Go-Gos. However, the collaboration was not something that Urban was very excited about doing.

Talking about the song in 2016, Urban says that he thought the song was going to be a complete mess. He was under the impression that the collaboration wasn’t going to work at all.

“From The Go-Go’s session that I did with the two girls, I just thought it was a disastrous idea, to begin with, theoretically it looks pretty bad. They had these ideas, and they were tossing out these ideas, and they were just so not me.”

Urban continues talking about how he was uncomfortable throughout the whole experience. But, then after taking a break for a minute, Charlotte Caffey came up with the idea for the hit song.

“It was so mismatched, and I was uncomfortable and squirming in my chair, and I was like, ‘Oh, wow! Whatever.’ And it was it. We decided this was a complete waste of time, let’s go get something to eat, and then Charlotte said, ‘Well, I’ve got this title called ‘But For the Grace of God,’ and boom, the song came out.”

Despite the hesitations throughout the song process, his first number one hit was the result of their hard work.

For more Keith Urban throwbacks, click here.

[H/T Song Facts]