CMT Artists of the Year Honoree Keith Urban Balances Music and TV

Hit Records, Awards and American Idol Underscore Another Stellar Year

Hit songs, awards, an international tour and a network TV gig — 2014 was another jam-packed year for country superstar Keith Urban.

He’ll be honored during the CMT Artists of the Year special airing live from Nashville on Tuesday (Dec. 2) at 8 p.m. ET. Hosted by Larry the Cable Guy and packed with live performances, the show will also celebrate the achievements of Jason Aldean, Luke Bryan, Florida Georgia Line and Miranda Lambert.

Among his many personal achievements in 2014, Urban became something of a collaborative powerhouse.

At the 49th annual ACM Awards, he walked away with trophies for his part in the Tim McGraw hit “Highway Don’t Care” and his own platinum-selling single, “We Were Us,” with Miranda Lambert.

“I’ve always wanted to sing a song with Miranda. I just wanted to find the right song,” Urban said. “She toured with us a couple of years back, and I’ve always loved her voice — first and foremost — and I’ve always liked the records she’s made. I really love her artistry. So this song came along. … It was written as a duet, and she was the first person I thought of.”

The collaboration went all the way to No. 1 in late 2013, and Urban followed it with two car-loving singles, “Cop Car” and “Somewhere in My Car,” all from his hit album, Fuse.

“I’m very hungry for new music and new influences and new energies and things that can go together,” Urban admitted. “That’s why this album is called Fuse because it’s bringing things together that I never have brought together before. … For me, it feels like they go together very well. So I’m so consumed by that I just make music, and it finds its way.”

At the 48th annual CMA Awards, Urban again found himself nominated in several major categories including album, male vocalist and entertainer of the year. His collaboration with Lambert earned him his 10th career CMA win.

“I literally was blown away when I found out about the nominations this year for the CMAs,” he said. “I made a record that I hoped would connect and would create a new concert experience, as well. … And so when that ended up resulting in these nominations as well, it was just really extraordinary.”

Urban also returned to network TV as a judge on American Idol alongside Jennifer Lopez and Harry Connick Jr.

“I love great talent, and I love discovering great new talent,” he explained. “Whether it’s somebody who hips me to a new artist or someone who just walks in the door, this is what it’s all about. Really, that’s the best part of this job.”

But despite all his success, Urban says the songwriting process is still one of his driving passions. And he’s already looking forward to his next album.

“Writing songs, I’ve just started back at that recently,” he said. “I’m writing all the time, but once the tour sets down, I really get myopic about that — and that’s it. Professionally, that’s my sole passion right now — writing songs and figuring out how to bring those to life in the studio — because I love making albums. I love it. And I’m really looking forward to making the next one.”

Tune in Tuesday at 8 p.m. ET for the fifth annual CMT Artists of the Year special.