Watch Keith Urban Honor Artists Who Died in 2016 With New Year’s Eve Medley
Keith Urban honored some of the iconic artists who died in 2016 with a medley during his New Year’s Eve show in Nashville — and the performance also included an onstage appearance by Urban’s wife, actress Nicole Kidman.
“2016 has been a crazy year for extreme highs and extreme lows, spiritually, emotionally, and I want to take just a second to give my thanks to a few of the artists that we lost in 2016 and that have left an incredible mark on music,” Urban said from stage during his set at the Jack Daniel’s Music City Midnight: New Years Eve in Nashville event. “By no means this is everybody, but I put this medley together.”
Urban began his medley with the opening chords and chorus of George Michael‘s “Careless Whisper,” then moved seamlessly into a bit of Leonard Cohen‘s “Hallelujah,” as the audience sang along. Snippets of the Eagles‘ “Take It Easy” (honoring the group’s Glenn Frey), David Bowie‘s “Heroes” and Merle Haggard‘s “Mama Tried” came next, before Urban ended with Prince‘s “Purple Rain.”
Readers can press play on the video above to watch Urban’s complete medley. The country star performed most of the songs solo, accompanied only by his acoustic guitar, but his band joined in for “Purple Rain.”
Kidman made her appearance as Urban sang “Heroes,” sneaking up behind her husband as the audience shrieked; in the video above, she can be seen singing along to the classic song and dancing around the stage. The actress stayed near the back of the stage as her husband finished his medley — and received a kiss at the end.
In addition to Urban, the Jack Daniel’s Music City Midnight: New Years Eve in Nashville event also featured classic rock band Styx, indie-alternative group Moon Taxi, country acts A Thousand Horses and Charlie Worsham and Nashville’s own Fisk Jubilee Singers.
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