The whole 'Murder on Music Row' debate is certainly nothing new. Country traditionalists and country modernists have been trading jabs for years. Keith Urban is one contemporary country artist who thinks the genre's doors are open wide enough for all kinds of music ... and have been for some time.

"When you say the word 'country' now, it's changed a lot," Urban tells the Democrat & Chronicle newspaper. "Now maybe you think of the Dixie Chicks, even Taylor Swift, but for a long while it was Dolly Parton and John Denver. When I look back at the music I grew up on, in the late '70s, early '80s, it was always contemporary, and that was Ronnie Milsap, Merle Haggard, Glen Campbell. And I don't think there was a cowboy hat in sight.

"The interesting thing about country as a genre is, it's also had the naysayers and the people saying it's doomed, it's not what it used to be," Keith continues. "Even Chet Atkins was driven out of town for putting strings on a country record. And now there's a street named after him."

Keith is in the middle of his Escape Together World Tour. Click here for dates and cities.