Keith Urban Pays Tribute to Artists Who Passed in 2017 with Heartfelt Performance

As if Keith Urban’s performance during the 2017 New Year’s Eve celebration in downtown Nashville couldn’t get any better, the superstar singer made the night even more special with a tribute to numerous artists who passed away in 2017.

Urban started off the performance with a harrowing rendition of “Black Hole Sun,” honoring the late Chris Cornell, frontman for the band Soundgarden, who earned a Grammy Award for the song. The opening number was followed by equally strong performances of “Midnight Rider” by Gregg Allman, Chuck Berry’s “Johnny B. Goode” and “Tulsa Time” by Don Williams. His soulful voice shined on the poignant “Wichita Lineman” by Glen Campbell, which led into a spirited rendition of Montgomery Gentry’s “My Town” that hit the hearts of country fans as it brings back fond memories of the late Troy Gentry.

Along with showing off his killer vocals, Urban demonstrated his slick guitar skills, paying sincere homage to the legendary stars lost throughout 2017. The superstar really got to exhibit his talent when he tackled the famous guitar lick from the opening of AC/DC’s “Back in Black” to honor Malcom Young, followed by the spirited closing number of the classic “Free Fallin’” by Tom Petty that had the crowd singing along and Urban’s wife, Nicole Kidman, joining him onstage to sing and dance to the incredible tune.

The country star performed a similar tribute when he headlined the 2016 New Year’s Eve show in Nashville, honoring artists that past away throughout the year, tipping his hat to Merle Haggard with “Mama Tried,” along with “Hallelujah” by Leonard Cohen, “Purple Rain” by Prince, “Take it Easy” from Glenn Frey and David Bowie’s “Heroes.”