Urban, Hill and Sugarland Prepare for Grammy Show

Country Nominees Were Rehearsing Monday at Staples Center in L.A.

LOS ANGELES — Keith Urban was in good spirits Monday morning (Feb. 6) despite a cold that left him raspy during Grammy rehearsals at the Staples Center. During a run-through of “You’ll Think of Me,” Urban joked about his voice, changing the line, “I’ll feel a whole lot better” to “I sure wish I felt a whole lot better.”

The 48th annual Grammy Awards will be broadcast live Wednesday (Feb. 8) on CBS.

Urban will perform “You’ll Think of Me” on top of a tall, clear platform above his band before walking down a set of stairs to duet with Faith Hill on “The Lucky One,” a cut from her Grammy-nominated Fireflies album. Dressed down in jeans and a ball cap for rehearsal, Hill played acoustic guitar while Urban added vocals and electric guitar.

In addition to her nomination for best country album, Hill also will compete for best female country vocal performance for “Mississippi Girl” and best country collaboration for “Like We Never Loved at All,” a duet with husband Tim McGraw. The couple won the same trophy back in 2000 for “Let’s Make Love.”

Urban is also nominated in the best male country vocal performance category for “You’ll Think of Me,” a cut from his triple platinum album, Golden Road.

Red-hot country act Sugarland also took the Staples Center stage Sunday night (Feb. 5) to rehearse their hit, “Something More.” The band is up for the all-genre best new artist trophy against John Legend, Keane, Ciara and Fall Out Boy. Lead singer Jennifer Nettles will also join Big & Rich to present Merle Haggard with the Recording Academy’s Lifetime Achievement award during the show.

Nettles and bandmate Kristian Bush were without former partner Kristen Hall, who left the award-winning trio in January to concentrate on songwriting. Backstage, Nettles and Bush told CMT Insider the split was amicable and that fans have been supportive during the change.

“First there is a bit of, ‘Wow, what’s going on?’” Nettles said. “But then once they [the fans] realized what’s going on, everybody has seemed supportive of what we’re doing next. We’ve been writing and continuing to chug along.”

Complete coverage of Grammy Week will be featured on the new episode of CMT Insider premiering Saturday (Feb. 11) on CMT.