HomeEntertainmentMusicKeith Urban Reveals His First Concert Was a Johnny Cash Show: ‘Rowdiest Crowd’

Keith Urban Reveals His First Concert Was a Johnny Cash Show: ‘Rowdiest Crowd’

by Emily Morgan
(Photo by Erika Goldring/Getty Images)

At just five years old, Keith Urban fell in love with music, all thanks to one Man in Black. For his first concert, a young Urban got to witness greatness when he saw the iconic Johnny Cash play. 

“It was the rowdiest crowd and experience I’ve ever had in my life.” a much older Urban said ahead of this Sunday’s ACM Awards, where he will performing and hosting alongside Mickey Guyton. 

Last year, Urban spoke of the life-changing experience. “This crowd was so intense and rowdy and I was sitting there with my brother who is two years older than me and we had our little western shirts on and our little bolo ties and I just remember this roar of this crowd and the lights went out and it got even louder. Then I remember this guy walking out on stage with a guitar and a spotlight and then he talked and the whole crowd went to this quiet hush. It was amazing.”

Keith Urban on Johnny Cash: ‘Unlike Anything I’d Seen’

During a 2020 interview with Zane Lowe on Apple Music, Urban spoke more about his musical upbringing. He added that his dad introduced him to country music and took him to see Cash in concert at the Brisbane Festival Hall in Queensland, Australia, in 1972. 

“I realize it’s probably equal parts country music, which is what my dad loved,” Urban said at the time. “That’s what we heard a lot in the house. Johnny Cash. I went to see … My family went to see Johnny Cash. My mum and dad and me and my brother. And I think I was five, and my brother was seven. And off we trundled to see Johnny Cash, and that was my first concert. That’ll stay with you”.

In addition, he said, “It was unlike anything I’d seen. It wasn’t country, it wasn’t rock. it wasn’t punk.” 

When Keith Urban and Mickey Guyton co-host the 56th ACM Awards on Sunday, Apr. 18, it will mark the 29th time the show has featured multiple hosts. In addition, it’s also the first time an African American female artist will co-host the show. 

The evening will present more firsts for the annual awards show: every “Single of the Year” nomination features a woman artist. Four African American artists are also nominated for awards— something that’s never happened in the show’s history. 

The ACM Awards will air live at 8:00 p.m., live ET on CBS. The show will be available to stream live and on-demand on Paramount+.