OFFSTAGE: Is Keith Urban Pop? Or Was Madonna Country?

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

This is a little bit like one of those chicken and egg scenarios. Madonna had a song in 2001 — “Don’t Tell Me” — that felt pretty country. She’s even dressed like a cowgirl in the video. And now Keith Urban has taken some inspiration from that song for his own hit “Little Bit of Everything.” So did she go country, or has he gone a little Madonna? It doesn’t matter, obviously. “She had a staccato acoustic guitar part in there that I thought was very cool,” Urban told USA Today . “On the demo that Kevin [Rudolf] did, it was more of a strummed part, just a straight-up ’Hey Soul Sister’ thing,” Urban says. He also talks about the ukulele parts and other cool things that happened in the studio. But I’d love to find out more about Urban’s fondness for ’80s pop. Let’s not forget that he wrote his 2000 debut hit “But for the Grace of God” with Jane Wiedlin and Charlotte Caffey of the Go-Go’s.

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