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

Central zone active cases down to 20

Province provides update

Gord Bamford serenades Sylvan Lake at sold out concert

Gord Bamford played for a sold out crowd at a drive-in concert Sept. 19 in Sylvan Lake

UPDATED: Red Deer has nine active COVID-19 cases

Number of cases increased by 107 Friday

“My world exploded,” says Bentley-area farmer who’s swather was struck by a motorist

Dennis Duncan was a mile from home when his swather was struck by another travelling at high speeds

Quirky Canadian comedy ‘Schitt’s Creek’ takes Emmys by storm with comedy sweep

Toronto-raised Daniel Levy and Ottawa-born Annie Murphy both got supporting actor nods

Majority of Canadians support wearing masks during COVID-19, oppose protests: poll

Nearly 90 per cent felt wearing a mask was a civic duty because it protects others from COVID-19

RCMP say body located of man who fell in river during stop for photos in Banff

Parks Canada has said the man was from India and living in Canada on a work visa

Paper towel in short supply as people stay home, clean more, industry leader says

While toilet paper consumption has returned to normal levels, paper towel sales continue to outpace pre-COVID levels

Lacombe beekeepers give the buzz on winterizing hives

Winterizing a honeybee hive is not a simple task, local apiarists say

Six injured, man in custody following BB gun incident in Alberta, RCMP say

Airdrie’s downtown core was told to shelter-in-place, while others nearby were asked to stay inside

Nearly 20 per cent of COVID-19 infections among health-care workers by late July

WHO acknowledged the possibility that COVID-19 might be spread in the air under certain conditions

Wetaskiwin RCMP make arrests for Hit and Run to residence

Damage estimates are expected to be in excess of $20,000.

Most Read