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

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

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Employers might be able to require COVID-19 vaccination from employees: B.C. lawyer

‘An employer must make the case’ using expert science, explains lawyer David Mardiros

(File Photo)
Sparwood accepting submissions for 2021 Street Art Banner Program

Artwork depicting a love for Sparwood’s community and heritage will be accepted until Feb. 19

Interior Health reported 79 new cases of COVID-19 and two new death in the region Friday, Jan. 22, 2021. (Ben Hohenstatt/Juneau Empire)
79 new COVID-19 cases, two deaths reported in Interior Health

Both of Friday’s deaths were both recorded at long-term care homes

(File photo)
Interior Health declares COVID-19 outbreak at Teck’s Elk Valley operations over

48 cases were linked to three Teck locations in the Elk Valley

Joanna and Aysha Haines opened their business, Drift and Sonder, on Jan. 22. (Soranne Floarea)
New businesses popping up in Fernie despite pandemic headwinds

More businesses in Fernie have opened than closed their doors since the pandemic began

Terrance Josephson of the Princeton Posse, at left, and Tyson Conroy of the Summerland Steam clash during a Junior B hockey game at the Summerland Arena in the early spring of 2020. (John Arendt - Summerland Review)
QUIZ: How much do you know about hockey?

Test your knowledge of Canada’s national winter sport

A woman injects herself with crack cocaine at a supervised consumption site Friday, Jan. 22, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Drug users at greater risk of dying as services scale back in second wave of COVID-19

It pins the blame largely on a lack of supports, a corrupted drug supply

Wet’suwet’en supporters and Coastal GasLink opponents continue to protest outside the B.C. Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Thursday, February 27, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
‘We’re still in it’: Wet’suwet’en push forward on rights recognition

The 670-km Coastal GasLink pipeline was approved by B.C. and 20 elected First Nations councils on its path

Jennifer Cochrane, a Public Health Nurse with Prairie Mountain Health in Virden, administers the COVID-19 vaccine to Robert Farquhar with Westman Regional Laboratory, during the first day of immunizations at the Brandon COVID-19 vaccination supersite in Brandon, Man., on Monday, January 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Tim Smith - POOL
Top doctor urges Canadians to keep up with COVID measures, even as vaccines roll out

More than 776,606 vaccines have been administered so far

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

From the left: Midway RCMP Csts. Jonathan Stermscheg and Chris Hansen, Public Servant Leanne Mclaren and Cpl. Phil Peters. Pictured in the front are Mclaren’s dog, Lincoln and Peters’ dog, Angel. Photo courtesy of BC RCMP
B.C. Mounties commended for bringing firewood to elderly woman

Cpl. Phil Peters said he and detachment members acted after the woman’s husband went to hospital

Dr. Jerome Leis and Dr. Lynfa Stroud are pictured at Sunnybrook Hospital in Toronto on Thursday, January 21, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
‘It wasn’t called COVID at the time:’ One year since Canada’s first COVID-19 case

The 56-year-old man was admitted to Toronto’s Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre

An Uber driver’s vehicle is seen after the company launched service, in Vancouver, Friday, Jan. 24, 2020. Several taxi companies have lost a court bid to run Uber and Lyft off the road in British Columbia. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Taxi companies lose court bid to quash Uber, Lyft approvals in British Columbia

Uber said in a statement that the ruling of the justice is clear and speaks for itself

A 75-year-old aircraft has been languishing in a parking lot on the campus of the University of the Fraser Valley, but will soon be moved to the B.C. Aviation Museum. (Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
Vintage military aircraft moving from Chilliwack to new home at B.C. Aviation Museum

The challenging move to Vancouver Island will be documented by Discovery Channel film crews

Most Read