"It’s my tribe": For Keith Urban, "CMA Fest" feels like "Coming Home"

ABC/Mark LevineFor thousands of fans and hundreds of celebrities, Nashville's CMA Fest is a can't-miss attraction. Even if you weren't able to be in Music City in June for this year's annual fan celebration, you can experience it next Wednesday, as the annual three-hour prime time CMA Fest special airs on ABC.

Keith Urban is just one of the stars you'll see performing at Nashville's Nissan Stadium during the special. He's also one of the folks who tries never to miss the actual event.

"Well, number one, for the fans, who come from all over the world to be here," he says, explaining why he makes it a priority. "And it's an amazing week for them. But for me personally too, I love the work that all of the CMA board and all of the Foundation do. You know, they've been very good to me over the years, and it's my tribe."

The artists who play CMA Fest donate their time, so all the proceeds can go toward music education -- a cause close to Keith's heart -- through the CMA Foundation.

Even more than that, Keith says he loves the sense of unity that can come over a huge crowd during an event like this.

"You can go out there and 70,000 people can agree on something for an hour or so," he explains. "That's amazing. I mean that never happens, y'know. Even at a sporting event, it's split fifty/fifty. You know what I mean?"

"Everybody's on board," Keith continues. "They're all in the zone, and they're all literally singing the same song. It's beautiful."

The 2018 prime time CMA Fest special premieres Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET on ABC, hosted by Thomas Rhett and Keith's tourmate Kelsea Ballerini. By then, Keith's likely to have the #1 song in America with "Coming Home."

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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