Keith Urban’s First Encounter With Toby Keith Was Unexpectedly Hilarious
4 mins read

Keith Urban’s First Encounter With Toby Keith Was Unexpectedly Hilarious

Keith Urban and Toby Keith, both country legends in their own right, didn’t exactly hit it off when they first met, at least not initially.

In the ’90s, as Keith Urban began to make his mark as an aspiring artist in Nashville, Toby Keith recorded one of his early songs.

During a recent interview with Taste of Country Nights, Urban shared the amusing words exchanged during their first encounter.

When prompted to share a Toby Keith story, Urban’s face immediately brightened.

“I have a lot of Toby Keith stories,” Urban shared. “I had written a song with a buddy of mine, it was a Christmas song. This was in the early ’90s, mid-’90s. I had just moved to town, and we heard that Toby Keith had recorded this song that we wrote. I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, Toby Keith, that’s pretty cool, man. It’s freakin’ Toby Keith.’”

“I’m down lower Broadway, which ain’t what it is now,” he continued. “I’m in this bar, and I look up in the corner, and there’s Toby Keith sitting on his own drinking in the corner. I said to a friend of mine, ‘That’s Toby Keith, I’m going to go introduce myself.’”

Coming across Keith, now a celebrated figure in the Country Music Hall of Fame, casually seated alone in a bar, would naturally catch anyone off guard.

“I went over, and I go, ‘Toby, hi. My name’s Keith Urban, and I think you recorded a song I wrote.’ The song is called, ‘Jesus Gets Jealous of Santa Claus.’ It was never going to get cut, so we were thrilled he recorded it.”

“Toby’s had a few, and he looks at me, kinda surly, and he goes, ‘Huh?’ I said, ‘Oh, I think you recorded a song we wrote.’ And he goes, ‘Yeah.’ I said, ‘Oh, did you like the song?’”

“He goes, ‘We cut it, man.’ And I went, ‘Yeah, no, I mean thank you so much. You obviously write a lot of songs, it’s unusual for you to cut an outside song. Did you like the song?’”

“’We cut it, man.’ And then he went back to his drink, and I just walked away.”

Urban then fondly reminisced about another memorable encounter with Keith, recalling the time they shared a hilarious moment at a Steak ‘n Shake around 3 AM.

“Luckily, I got to meet him years later, and we had the best time. I rode on his tour bus for his 40th birthday. It was a hell of a memory because we pulled into a Steak ‘n Shake at about 3AM. Sitting in a booth with Toby, eating Steak ‘n Shake, it was fantastic.”

During the interview, Keith Urban also opened up about his new song “Messed Up As Me” and how he creates his music.

“Well, it’s a song about being in a relationship that maybe only has one good aspect to it. All the rest is completely toxic and dysfunctional. But this one area is fanfreakingtastic. And so you put up with all the rest.”

When asked about a lyric that resonates most with him personally, Urban’s immediate response was, “All of it.”

“‘When I get blue, I get dark blue.’ Absolutely. There’s so many relatable lyrics in this song.”

When asked about his songwriting process, Urban explained that he blends constant creative thought with occasional bursts of inspiration.

“Ideas come a lot and I sort of think of them as, like, fireflies and you just put them in a jar. And then when you go to write a song, [you] open up the jar and use that firefly to spark the song and off we go.”


Share this: