It’s hard to imagine a world where Keith Urban nearly passed on his current single, “Wild Hearts,” but the singer is opening up about why it didn’t click with him at first.

Co-written by Old Dominion‘s Brad TursiJennifer Wayne of Runaway June, and Eric Paslay, whom Keith praises as praising as “really great songwriters,” he says he loved “Wild Hearts” the first time he heard it, but admits that there was something missing. “I listened to it and I really liked the song, but it didn’t speak to me,” he explains. “I think it was probably more the verses that didn’t speak to me, and so I passed on the song.” 

Not long after, the singer woke up with the chorus ringing in his head, a sign that the song was destined to be his, but he realized that the lyrics needed a personal touch. 

“About a week later, I woke up one morning singing this chorus, and I was like, ‘That’s that song I got sent,"” he explains. “So I went and listened to it again a couple of times and I thought, ‘It’s a really good song, great chorus,’ but the verses just didn’t speak to me. So I called the writers and said, ‘Would you mind if I rewrote the verses so that they were more about my journey?"”

That’s when Keith stepped in and personalized the verses, which recall his first concert at five years old seeing Johnny Cash with his father, and referencing his tattoos of an eagle and a phoenix, making the song truly his own.

“Wild Hearts” serves as the lead single of Keith’s upcoming album. It’s currently in the top 10 on country radio.

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