It was the year-end gesture heard around the world. And while you could see the joy in the fans’ smiles and hear it in their voices, I wanted to know how they felt once it all sunk in.
Erin Evans, from Yorba Linda, California, got her surprise from Urban over the summer at a California fair. And before he even explained what was happening, she was already on another planet because Urban had greeted her by name.
“I was completely stunned and overwhelmed,” Evans told CMT.com. “Managed to fight back the happy tears. I mean, wow, who does this??”
“He was thanking me (thanking ME!) for the CMT awards! I told him we all voted, every day, all of us in (Urban’s official fan club) The ‘Ville, we wanted to win it for him! WE DID IT,” she said. “Keith is such a gracious and appreciative person. He is always thanking others. He thanks his fans after every concert, he always takes time for a smile and a picture and a special moment for a fan. We love him for it! He is the definition of humble and kind. He loves his fans, and we love him right back.”
She plans to put the special CMT Music Award on the shelves in her home where she keeps family pictures, kids’ artwork and keepsakes. She cleared off a shelf to put the award, plus some memorabilia she has collected over the years, including a setlist from an Urban show, a license plate and confetti she has collected from concerts.
“I didn’t want it to look like a shrine. My husband, John, said, ‘Oh no, make it a total shrine.’ I love seeing so many great memories right next to Keith’s award every day,” she said. “Our family has fun taking selfies with the award!”
Doug Torkelson, from Lawton, Oklahoma, echoed Evans’ feelings when Urban surprised him with the good news at a show in Thackerville, a couple of hours away from home.
“I’ve not heard of anyone doing that before. So to have him tell me that he was going to send me one of HIS CMT awards was pretty awesome,” Torkelson said, who added that he was speechless when it happened and still doesn’t think it has sunk in yet.
“He didn’t have to send this CMT award to me, or to the others that received one. We are all very grateful that he chose to do so. But this shows that he really and truly loves his fans,” he said. “With all the pictures and videos he shares to social media, you can tell he genuinely cares for all his fans, and wants to keep us updated on what he’s working on or what he’s doing.”
Torkelson is keeping the award on a shelf in his bedroom where he has steins from Germany and a picture of his best friends who moved to the country in 2016.
The four fan-voted awards Urban won at this year’s CMT Music Awards were for video of the year for “Blue Ain’t Your Color,” male video of the year for “Blue Ain’t Your Color,” collaborative video of the year feat. Carrie Underwood for “The Fighter,” and social superstar of the year.
When he accepted the awards at CMT’s live show at Nashville’s Music City Center, he’d dedicated it to every fan who has ever loved him and his music.
“This award is for everybody watching that voted, for everybody in the room tonight, for everybody outside who couldn’t get in, for everybody who comes to see us play in concert,” he’d said. “You guys allow me to (play music), and when you support this music and connect with it the way you do, that’s all I’m trying to do. I’m just trying to make a connection.”