It seems to be the season for No. 1 parties in Nashville, a notion to which no one would have even mild objection. Friday afternoon, March 3, the industry again came together to celebrate the latest Keith Urban chart-topper “Blue Ain’t Your Color” at a party at Nashville club Basement East.
Urban was on hand to help honor the songwriters behind “Blue Ain’t Your Color,” Hillary Lindsey, Clint Lagerberg, and Steven Lee Olsen, celebrating his first No. 1 single. It’s one of the few hits in his catalog that Urban did not write, but he noted in a pre-party press conference that he was drawn to the song on first listen.
“The song was pitched to me and Steven Lee was singing [the demo], and it was just an immediate reaction,” Urban explained. “I loved the lyric, the sentiment, the melody, everything about it.” The trio of writers agreed that the tune flowed easily and was completed in quick fashion.
“Blue Ain’t Your Color” was released as the fourth single from Urban’s album “Ripcord,” quite possibly the most-discussed album of his career. Urban worked with multiple producers for the record and welcomed guest artists from outside the country genre as collaborators, including Pitbull and Nile Rodgers.
Along with his previous album “Fuse,” “Ripcord” stood as further testament to Urban’s adventurous and progressive approach to recording. “Ripcord” earned a Grammy nomination and is also nominated for Album of the Year at the upcoming Academy of Country Music awards in April.
When asked about the album by S&E Nashville, Urban pointed to his father’s record collection as early inspirations. “Looking back at my dad’s collection, there weren’t many hats in there,” Urban began. “It was Charley Pride, Merle Haggard, Glen Campbell, and they were all very contemporary artists. Ernest Tubb wasn’t in there or Hank [Williams] Sr., and there weren’t more of the traditional artists. Then through the ’80’s, we had Alabama records and Janie Fricke and Charly McClain. They were all very progressive country records for the time, and I realized that’s always been a big influence for the genre.”
What sets the typical Keith Urban No. 1 galas apart from many others is that he generally performs the honored tune with the writers. And true to form, the party portion of the afternoon kicked off with a performance of “Blue Ain’t Your Color” by Urban and the three writers along with producer Dann Huff. In addition, Urban, Lindsey, Olsen, and Lagerberg were presented with plaques and accolades from ASCAP, the various publishers on the song and Keith’s label Capitol/UMG Nashville.