If Taylor Swift texts you and tells you she has new music for you to hear, you drop everything and listen—even if you’re in the middle of Christmas shopping.
That’s the story Keith Urban recently shared with Ellen DeGeneres of how he came to be part of two songs on Taylor Swift’s recently-released album Fearless (Taylor’s Version).
The two music stars trade verses on “That’s When,” while Urban also lends vocals to “We Were Happy.”
“It’s the craziest story,” Urban said during a recent appearance on Ellen. “[Urban and his family] were in Australia. I was doing some Christmas shopping in the shopping mall in December…so I’m at the shopping mall and I get a text from Taylor saying, ‘I’ve got these couple of songs I’d like you to sing on. Would you like to hear them?’ I said, ‘Sure,’ so she sends me the songs. I’m sitting in the food court at the shopping center listening to these two unreleased Taylor Swift songs. It was an unusual place to be hearing them…I loved the songs and luckily got to put a vocal on both of those.”
DeGeneres joked that it was “hilarious” to think of Urban in a mall food court, listening to unreleased Swift songs. “I was hungry!” Urban responded, with a laugh. “Where are you gonna go when you’re hungry, Ellen?”
Early in her career, Swift opened for several of Urban’s headlining shows, and he recalled that even then, Swift’s sense of humor was just as sharp as her songwriting talents.
“She pranked us on the last night of the tour, by her and her band dressing up as [members of the rock band] Kiss and coming out and sitting in on one of my songs called ‘Kiss a Girl,’” he told DeGeneres. “She dressed as Ace Frehley and I swear she looked so much like Ace…”
On Sunday, April 18, Urban will co-host the Academy of Country Music Awards alongside Mickey Guyton. DeGeneres noted that this year’s awards feature more nominations for female artists and artists of color.
When asked if Urban feels country music is becoming more inclusive, he responded, “It’s on the right track. I mean, there’s always work to do and there’s always improvement but we’re definitely moving in the right direction, finally.”
See Urban’s interview on Ellen below: