Keith Urban is the latest in a string of performers to record a performance for Spotify Singles, and for his contribution, the country superstar selected a more forlorn and piano-driven incarnation of the 2018 pop hit, “Happier,” a collaboration between producer Marshmello and British band Bastille.
“The first time I heard ‘Happier,’ it spoke to me lyrically,” Urban explained in a statement of his decision to cover the track. “Underneath that bada– track there’s an incredible story of emotional conflict being told. I could really relate to it, and so I set about trying to frame that in my own way.”
For the country star, that meant allowing the song’s melancholy storyline to shine through in the music that accompanies it, pivoting the melody away from its bouncy, dance-ready original and into ballad territory. In addition to the cover, Urban also recorded a version of his own “Never Comin’ Down,” off his most recent album, Graffiti U, for Spotify Singles.
The new year has been a busy one for Urban so far: After headlining the New Year’s Eve festivities in Nashville, the country star got all glammed up and joined his wife, Nicole Kidman, on the red carpet at the Golden Globe Awards on Jan. 6. He also has plans to launch an overseas tour later in January.
Marshmello is not the only out-of-genre artist that Urban has showed an interest in lately. He also collaborated with rapper Post Malone for a new TV special honoring Elvis Presley. The special, called the Elvis All-Star Tribute, features a slew of country performances and is hosted by Blake Shelton. It will air on NBC on Feb. 17.
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