Keith Urban Hits No. 1 With ‘Raise ‘Em Up’
The song is a duet with Eric Church, and it's the fourth No. 1 hit from Urban's current album, Fuse, which was released in 2013. "Little Bit of Everything," "We Were Us" and "Somewhere in My Car" have also reached No. 1 from the disc, which is Urban's seventh studio album. "Raise 'Em Up" is also currently at No. 1 in Canada for the fourth week.
Written by Jaren Johnston, Jeffrey Steele and Tom Douglas and co-produced by Nathan Chapman and Urban, the song came about from an idea that Johnston had been saving.
“I had raise ‘em up like this or raise ‘em up like that saved in my phone, and I’d been wanting to write it,” he says. “I had Jeffrey and Tom coming over, and I wanted to write something smarter than just trucks and all that kind of stuff. So I knew it was gonna be a good idea to bring that title in with Tom, because he’s just incredibly crafty. He’s very good at taking a song in a way that you normally wouldn’t think it was gonna go.”
Johnston pitched the song first to Urban, who put it on hold immediately. One of the other artists he had in mind for the song was Church, who heard the song and wanted very much to cut it.
“The first time Eric heard it — at least that’s what he told me — he was trying to talk Keith out of cutting it,” he adds with a laugh. “Saying, ‘I don’t know if that’s right for you, man.’ Which is really funny. Right around that time, [Johnston's band, the Cadillac Three] did a European tour with Eric last year, and he’d say, ‘Aww man, I wanted that song, man. It’s real special, Jaren. It’s real smart.’”
Johnston had no idea Church had gotten involved with the recording until he got a call from Urban one day to come down to the studio and hear the finished track.
“He said, ‘It’s a duet now,’” and I go, ‘Oh, cool!' I was thinking any moment that Miranda [Lambert] or, anybody other Eric Church is gonna come in singing,” he recalls. “And sure enough that second verse hits, and it’s Eric Church, and I’m just like, ‘Hell yeah!’”
Urban will perform on the first part of the two-night American Idol finale on Tuesday (May 12), and he'll spend much of the summer performing at fairs and festivals, including headlining slots at the Taste of Country Music Festival and Country Jam in June.
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