Keith Urban Listened to Unreleased Taylor Swift in a Mall Food Court Prior to Her Recent Album’s Release

by Josh Lanier
(Photo by Chris Polk/ACMA2013/Getty Images for ACM)

Keith Urban admitted to Ellen DeGeneres that he got to hear early cuts of two of Taylor Swift’s re-recorded songs late last year. In fact, he was so excited to take a listen that he sat down immediately when he got the recordings. Unfortunately, he was in a mall food court.

Urban was on The Ellen DeGeneres Show to promote Sunday’s 56th ACM Awards. He’s hosting with fellow country music singer Mickey Guyton.

Degeneres wanted to know how Urban ended up on Swift’s re-recording of “We Were Happy” and “That’s When” from her 2008 Fearless album. Swift decided to re-record her earlier albums because her former record label sold the rights against her wishes.

Urban said he was taking part in one of his yearly pastimes, doing his Christmas shopping last minute, when Swift reached out.

“I get a text from Taylor saying ‘I’ve got these couple of songs I’d like you to sing on, do you want to hear them?’ And I said yeah,” Urban recalled. “So she sends me the songs, and I’m sitting in the food court at this shopping center listening to these two unreleased Taylor Swift songs. It was an unusual place to be hearing unreleased Taylor Swift music.”

Ellen said she found it hilarious to think of seeing Urban, one of country music’s biggest stars, sitting in a mall food court at all. How bizarre it must have been for the other shoppers.

But it did win him some brownie points with his two daughters who are big Taylor Swift fans.

“They were just excited dad got a text from Taylor Swift,” he said.

Taylor Swift Pranked Keith Urban During Tour

Before Taylor Swift was selling out arenas, she was an opening act for other, bigger acts at the time. During her Fearless tour, she opened for Keith Urban.

Urban said she was fun to tour with, but on their last gig together, she and her band pranked him. He explained to Ellen that as he was beginning to play his song “Kiss a Girl,” Swift and her band came out on stage dressed as KISS. Ellen showed a photo of Swift and the band in KISS make-up.

Swift dressed as lead singer Ace Frehley and looked eerily similar, Urban said.

“She looked so much like Ace — with all due respect to Ace Frehley —I wasn’t sure if it was him or Taylor to be completely frank with you,” Urban joked.