CFL Grey Cup halftime show entertainer Keith Urban speaks to the media in Calgary, Alta., Saturday, Nov. 23, 2019.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

Grey Cup halftime performer Keith Urban curious about Canadian Football League

Previous Grey Cup halftime performers include Alessia Cara, Shania Twain, OneRepublic, Fall Out Boy

Country music star Keith Urban is about to experience the Canadian Football League for the first time.

The four-time Grammy winner is the halftime performer for Sunday’s 107th Grey Cup in Calgary between the Hamilton Tiger-Cats and Winnipeg Blue Bombers.

“Having never seen a CFL game before, I’m looking forward to seeing one,” Urban said Saturday at McMahon Stadium. “What a crash course right? To come and see the Grey Cup.”

Urban has sold more than 20 million albums, six of which have reached No. 1.

Previous Grey Cup halftime performers include Alessia Cara, Shania Twain, OneRepublic, Fall Out Boy and Imagine Dragons.

Urban has performed at a Nashville Predators games and at Philadelphia’s Lincoln Financial Field for the NHL Stadium Series game between the Flyers and the Pittsburgh Penguins in February.

Born in New Zealand and raised in Australia, he’s familiar with NFL football having attended a few Tennessee Titans games

The 52-year-old singer-songwriter says it’s a different vibe performing a few quick songs at a game where he’s not primarily who people have come to see.

“I never know what to expect in a situation like this,” Urban said. “It’s a bit like going to a festival where you don’t know how many people there know who you are, what you do, have never seen you before.

“But it’s maybe a little harder because it’s a sporting event. I always come out with the attitude that everyone is standing there doing this,” he said, folding his arms in front of him. “‘What do you do? What’s your business?’

“I want to keep everybody warm and up and motivated with hopefully songs most everyone knows.

“I’ve got 12 minutes to do it in.”

Urban is familiar with Calgary having performed in the city earlier in his career, including the 2014 Calgary Stampede.

“Calgary’s got such a huge country fan base,” Urban said. ”My music certainly transcends a lot of that as well, goes outside of it a bit.

“It feels like a second home, it really does Canada in general, because I started touring here so early in my career.

“I could tell from when we started playing little clubs that what I was doing, everybody got it. I felt like I was back in Australia.”

Donna Spencer, The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Rent-It Centre takes over curbside collection contract in Tofino and Ucluelet

Rent It Centre’s bid was $25,865 lower than the only other bidder, SonBird Refuse and Recycling.

Tofino and Ucluelet’s Top 10 sports and arts stories of 2019

Revisiting the Coast’s best sports and arts newsmakers of the past year.

Tofino’s first cannabis dispensary opens

“I don’t know where it’s going, but happy how it’s gone so far.”

Tofino welcomes much needed veterinarian to town

West Coast has not had a full-time vet since Dr. Jane Hunt surrendered her licence in 2004.

Looking back on the West Coast’s top 10 news stories

Tofino and Ucluelet’s top headlines of 2019.

VIDEO: Cold snap brings ideal conditions for Okanagan icewine

Take an inside look at how icewine is made

Blue Monday is a myth but seasonal affective disorder and the winter blues are real

Canadian Mental Health Association says weather can affect mood

PHOTOS: Eastern Newfoundland reeling, search underway for missing man after blizzard

More than 70 centimetres of new snow fell overnight, creating whiteout conditions

Prince Harry, Meghan to give up ‘royal highness’ titles

‘Harry, Meghan and Archie will always be much loved members of my family,’ says Queen Elizabeth II

Ice chunk from truck crushes vehicle windshield on Vancouver Island

None injured, but Nanaimo RCMP say there can be fines for accumulations of ice and snow

B.C. society calls out conservation officer after dropping off bear cub covered in ice

Ice can be seen in video matted into emaciated bear cub’s fur

Calls for dialogue as Coastal GasLink pipeline polarizes some in northern B.C.

Coastal GasLink is building the 670-kilometre pipeline from British Columbia’s northeast to Kitimat on the coast

Wind and snow spark power outages across Vancouver Island

Winter storm warning in effect for east and west regions while wind warning to hit south and north

BC Ferries hybrid ships arrive in Victoria on Saturday

The battery-operated vessels will take over smaller routes

Most Read