Keith Urban Brings ‘Wild Hearts’ to Life at CMA Fest [WATCH]

Keith Urban gave one of the most energetic performances during all of the nightly Nissan Stadium shows at CMA Fest, when he performed his hit single, “Wild Hearts,” backed by a full band, complete with horns. His performance was part of the televised CMA Fest special, which is streaming now on Hulu.

“Wild Hearts” was first written  by Runaway June‘s Jennifer Wayne, Old Dominion‘s Brad Tursi and Eric Paslay, with Urban later asking if he could alter the lyrics slightly to make them his own.

“This whole thing came together faster than probably any song I’ve ever done,” Urban shares with his record label. “I got sent the song in early May, and I rewrote the lyrics within a couple of weeks of getting the track without the vocals on it, so I could work on that. And once I got those where I wanted them, I went down into my studio and put down a vocal on the song and then I added guitars and I sort of built out the demo that I got sent.

“Everything was done so quick, and then I sent it to my manager to say, ‘Hey, we just did this last week. What do you think about this song?’” he recalled. “And he said, ‘I think we should put that song out.’ I went, ‘When?’ He was like, ‘Now!’ (laughs) He’s like, ‘This just sounds great.’”

Performing in front of a packed crowd at Nissan Stadium is a far cry from Urban’s first time there during the annual event, when he went as a fan, not a superstar.

“My first CMA Fest was 2002, here at Nissan when it was called [Adelphia],” Urban said ahead of his performance. “It was Fan Fair at that point still. It had come from the fairgrounds to here. I don’t know if I remember it specifically. I remember that many people being out front, and feeling it was quite a big scene change from the fairgrounds, and just loving it. Absolutely loving the vibe, the crowd, the energy. It was amazing.”

The New Zealand native will continue his Keith Urban: The Las Vegas Residency at Zappos Theater in Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino later this year, due to fan demand. It is, perhaps ironically, now one of his favorite places to perform, although for a long time he turned down the idea of a Vegas residency.

“Vegas is great,” Urban gushed. “This is also our third time back, playing our residency there. It’s the unexpected. I think that’s what I love about Vegas. Friday night to the next Friday night is completely different, and you never know what’s going to happen in a crowd. You never know what’s going to happen in our show. The energy and the unpredictability and the rawness of it every night, I love it.”

Find all of Urban’s music and upcoming shows, including his Keith Urban: The Las Vegas Residency dates,  at