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Keith Urban, Toby Keith Laud Glen Campbell Prior to ACM Honors Tribute

keith urban toby keith
Mike Coppola / Ethan Miller, Getty Images

Several of country music’s hottest contemporary stars got together to pay tribute to Glen Campbell at the recent ACM Honors, and two of them shared how his influence has impacted them prior to the performance airing.

Keith Urban, Blake Shelton, Toby Keith and Dierks Bentley performed a medley of Campbell’s biggest hits at the ACM Honors show, which took place in Nashville on Aug. 30.

Urban is somewhat of a modern-day Campbell, an equally outstanding singer and guitarist whose music has broad crossover appeal. The performance gave him a chance to pay tribute to an artist who’s been a longtime influence.

“I’ve always been a fan of what I like to call guitartists, you know those guitar-artists like Glen Campbell, who’s probably one of my biggest influences; those guys who knew a good song, had a great voice and played great and just the all-around guys with a guitar, you know?” he says. “When you think of Glen Campbell, you think of, I think of ‘Galveston,’ ‘Wichita Lineman,’ then I also think of him being a phenomenal guitar player.”

Though Campbell has been in physical decline since at least 2011, when he revealed his diagnosis of Alzheimer’s, Keith says the legendary musician still looks 15 years younger than he is.

“It’s just really sad to think that he’s in as great a shape as he is physically, except for that debilitating affliction. But, man! He was one of the greatest guitar players of all time, and I don’t think most people realize that,” Keith shares. “I think most people saw him on the Glen Campbell Good Time Hour and some movies, and they just thought he’s a singer that sings some pop country. But Glen was one of the greatest guitar players of all time too, and even when he couldn’t remember his songs he could still play them without remembering the words.”

See the full tribute to Glen Campbell when the ACM Honors air on CBS on Friday night (Sept. 9) at 9PM ET.

Go Backstage at the ACM Honors

Next: Tributes Highlight ACM Honors 2016

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