OFFSTAGE: Keith Urban on the Age-Old Country Pop Crossover

(CMT Offstage keeps a 24/7 watch on everything that’s happening with country music artists behind the scenes and out of the spotlight.)

“Country has been crossing over into pop for decades,” Keith Urban told Reverb, the Denver Post’s entertainment website. And he’s right. He would know, because he says even way back when , his dad had an album collection full of Charley Pride and Glen Campbell, whose “By the Time I Get to Phoenix” was a pop hit in the ’60s. (He’s right. Again. It was in 1967, the year Urban was born.) “None of this is new. This is the conversation that country music has been having since the ’50s. The only thing that has changed is that there’s less of a cycle. It used to be that country would go pop every decade or so, and then it would go back into a more traditional thing and then back to pop. Urban Cowboy had a huge pop appeal. Dolly Parton’s ’9 to 5′ — all these songs were huge pop hits. So now it’s really business as usual,” Urban said. And I think what he’s saying is that now we just don’t have to wait a decade to see country songs have more of a pop influence because it happens every single day. It’s less of a cycle and more of a never-ending circle.

Alison makes her living loving country music. She's based in Chicago, but she's always leaving her heart in Nashville.