Keith Urban Shares the ‘Magical’ Story Behind ‘Somebody Like You’

Keith Urban has written a lot of his hit singles, including “Days Go By,” “Sweet Thing,” “Long Hot Summer,” “Wild Hearts” and more. While he isn’t willing to pick a favorite song of his, Urban does say that there is one song, specifically “Somebody Like You,” that had perhaps the biggest impact on his career, and will always hold a special place in his heart.

“It’s impossible for me to pick a favorite song that I’ve written, or anything that I’m more grateful [for] than any others, because they all capture a different part of my life and tell a different part of my story,” Urban says (via UMG Nashville). “But certainly, [there are] songs that can send a career into a whole other gear, I mean, I would have to look at something like ‘Somebody Like You’ as one of the most important songs for me that happened and just … sent my career into a whole different speed in a really wonderful way.

“Of course,” he adds, “there are hundreds of songs I’ve written that led up to that one getting written, and it’s just magic.”

“Somebody Like You,” released in 2002, was Urban’s second No. 1 single at country radio, and his first multi-platinum hit, although Urban admits he was uneasy heading into the writing appointment where “Somebody Like You” was created.

“It’s magical how that song got written,” Urban shares. “I wrote it with a guy called John Shanks, who I’d never met, and I was nervous showing up that morning to write that song. He had a little drum loop happening, and I happened to bring my six-string banjo. I pulled it out of the case, and the first thing that I played was that opening riff of the song. I started singing a melody, and the words started coming fairly quickly. It was one those pretty easy to write songs, and I think it’s just where I was in my life at the time too.”

“Somebody Like You” came out four years before Urban entered the Betty Ford Center, to finally deal with his addictions. When he wrote the uptempo, feel-good track, Urban acknowledges that he wasn’t exactly who he portrayed in the song, at least not yet.

“It really captured probably more of the person I wished I could be,” the father of two now concedes. “I wasn’t that person in the song, but I wanted to be, and I felt I was getting close to being that person. So, it’s a truthful song. It came from a truthful place, and I’m still incredibly grateful for it. I can’t imagine doing a show and not doing that song, and I feel really grateful that I love it. I love it as much today as the day I wrote it.”

Urban’s songwriting talents are being recognized with his induction into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame on Wednesday, October 11. Although he has worked for decades to hone his craft, being part of the Songwriters Hall of Fame is something he never, ever anticipated.

“Being invited into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame is hands down one of the highest honors that’s ever happened to me,” Urban tells his record label. “I’ve always loved writing songs. I’ve always loved great songwriters, and, this is a songwriting town. I mean, first the song always. The song is the very first thing. To be in this group, this incredible group of songwriters is a bit surreal. Honestly, it’s probably still sinking in.”

Urban will be inducted alongside Kix BrooksDavid Lee Murphy, Casey Beathard, Rafe Van Hoy and the late John Jarrard,

Urban will resume his Keith Urban: The Las Vegas Residency on November 1. He will serve as a co-host the All for the Hall benefit, alongside Vince Gill, on Tuesday, December 5. Find all of Urban’s music and upcoming shows at