Keith Urban On Choosing to Redo His Record: ‘I Bawled My Eyes Out’

Keith Urban is opening up about the album that wasn’t. The 56-year-old previously revealed that he recorded, and then scrapped, almost an entire project, when he realized it wasn’t what he wanted to make. Although he felt it was necessary, Urban admits it was a devastating decision.

“It’s beyond hard, because there’s definitely a part of that that goes, ‘It’s fine. It’s fine,'” Urban shared on Audacy’s Rob + Holly. ‘Cause the alternative is, ‘Okay, fine. No touring this year. No album this year. Back into the trenches you go. I know you worked for a year, but back in you go.’ I didn’t want to do any of that. It would have been so much easier to just go, ‘It’s fine,’ but I’ve got to be 100 percent in, I can’t be 99 percent in, otherwise, it’s not gonna work.”

Urban still vividly remembers the moment he realized that the album he had poured a year of his life into wasn’t what he wanted.

“I hate saying this, but it’s so true: I left that meeting, went out, sat in my car, and I bawled my eyes out,” Urban admitted. “I literally did, I know that sounds pathetic to a lot of people, but after putting in that much work and knowing what was ahead of me workwise, which I didn’t want to do, it just gutted me. It was like being kicked in the stomach. And sure enough, it took a year. It took a year to finish out the record.

“And I’m so grateful for everybody giving me the time to do it, having the willingness to do it, and for the music saying to me, ‘Trust us. Just go with us. We’re gonna get you to a place where you’re going to be so much happier with everything, but you just gotta trust us,'” he added.

Urban did keep a few tracks from the record he didn’t release, including his just-released “Messed Up As Me,” which he celebrated with a surprise performance at the Nashville International Airport.

“I know this sounds weird, but it was truly like the songs said to me, ‘We’re not part of this thing that you’ve done. We’re part of another thing, and if you are willing to take us from this thing and get back in the trenches and finish it, we’ll tell you all the other songs that you’re missing,'” Urban recalled. “It’s literally like the songs told me what was missing.”

Urban’s first release from his new set of tunes was “Straight Line,” a song he already can’t wait to play on the road.

“I chose ’Straight Line’ for the first song because I felt like it really captured the feeling that I hope people feel when they come see us in concert,” Urban explained. “That feeling of just forgetting about life and losing yourself in this utopian place for a couple of hours and just loving everything.”

Although grueling and gut-wrenching at the time, the father of two now knows that, without question, he made the right decision to redo his long-awaited project.

“It’s a more concise record,” Urban boasted. “It’s got all the flow and diversity that I think particularly our concerts are known for.”

Find “Messed Up As Me,” “Straight Line” and all of Urban’s music and upcoming shows at

Read ‘Keith Urban: 11 Things to Know About the Country Music Hitmaker’ here.