Keith Urban Rocks Out With ‘Brown Eyes Baby’ at the 2023 CMT Awards [Watch]
"This guy is known for his massive songs, his incredible guitar chops, and his game-changing performance right here at the CMT Music Awards," Kane Brown, one of the night's co-hosts, said, announcing Urban's highly anticipated show-stopper. "Tonight, he's coming from our capitol stage to the heart of Austin. Keith Urban!"
Taking the spotlight on an outdoor stage outside the awards show venue, Urban, then, channeled his current single as the sun went down with the Texas Capitol building glowing in the background.
Urban appeared onstage in his signature blazer, with his red electric guitar slung across his body as he launched into a high-energy performance that left room for rafter-raising guitar solos and powerhouse vocal riffing. Anyone who's been to one of Urban shows knows full well what a powerful, engaging live set he puts on, and that magnetic energy was on full display at the Austin, Texas, awards show on Sunday night.
While most artists performed just one or two songs during their 2023 CMT Awards set, Urban brought three different tracks to the party. In addition to "Brown Eyes Baby," he performed "Live With" — another crow-pleaser from his 2020 album, The Speed of Now Part 1, plus his 2016 hit, "Blue Ain't Your Color," during his time onstage performing for the CMT Music Awards crowd.
Urban is a two-time nominee at the 2023 CMT Music Awards, and both nominations come for his song, "Wild Hearts." The song scored a mention in the coveted Video of the Year category, as one of 16 contenders originally announced for the award. However, during the first weeks of fan voting, Urban was eliminated from the category. Six finalists were named in the days before the awards show, and leading up to the night itself, that list was whittled down to a final three, which were Carrie Underwood for "Hate My Heart," Hardy featuring Lainey Wilson for "Wait in the Truck," and Brown and Katelyn Brown for "Thank God."
"Wild Hearts" is also in the running in the Performance of the Year category, thanks to Urban's live performance of the song at the 2022 CMT Music Awards show.