Keith Urban ups the ante for Grey Cup halftime acts

Photo courtesy: CFL

Let’s get it out of the way early: I actually don’t know any Keith Urban songs.

I don’t listen to country music and Urban wasn’t a pop mainstay when I was a teen, so while I know his name I am not sure I could name a single song of his.

With that out of the way let me also say: getting Keith Urban to perform at halftime of the Grey Cup is a massive get for the CFL.

Justin-Bieber-like massive.

Keith Urban is an international superstar. Capital I, capital S. Everyone knows who Keith Urban is and getting a major country star to perform at halftime in Calgary is as perfect a pairing as peanut butter and jam.

No, Urban isn’t Canadian, but so what. Not every halftime act has to be a Canadian. Last year’s, Alessia Cara, was and her announcement was met with a lot of shrugs and “who’s that?” from people of my age. My favourite halftime show of the last decade was Imagine Dragons in B.C. in 2014 and they aren’t Canadian.

The days of Trooper, Burton Cummings and Blue Rodeo playing halftime at the Grey Cup are over and that’s a good thing. The Grey Cup needs fresh acts that will attract non-football, non-50-year-old eyeballs. Cara did that; Bieber did that; Dragons did that; and Urban will do that, too.

There will always be those who complain as no artist is for everyone. Urban isn’t my cup o’ tea, but the CFL did a great job in finding a very popular, very successful, very famous — let’s not forget, he is married to actress Nicole Kidman, who is more famous than words can describe — singer to anchor the country’s most-watched concert.

Whether you like Keith Urban or not, there is no denying that the CFL hit a home run with getting him to be the halftime act and this will only up the ante for future Grey Cups.

Josh Smith has been writing about the Ticats and the CFL since 2010 and was sporting his beard way before it was cool. Will be long after, too.