CFL rookie Keith Urban ready to play Grey Cup halftime in Calgary

“Praying for a great game and great weather.”

That’s what country superstar Keith Urban is looking forward to for Sunday’s Grey Cup in Calgary.

Urban was announced as the halftime show artist for the 107th Grey Cup in September and said he looks forward to playing outdoors at McMahon Stadium during halftime.

“And I saw the weather’s looking good, fingers crossed,” Urban told The Morning News on Global News Radio 770 CHQR Friday.

Urban isn’t afraid of late November cold weather, having played New Year’s Eve 2014 at Niagara Falls, Ont.

“So I’ve got a little experience with playing in the cold.”

Urban has a long history with country music fans in Calgary.

“The Saddledome will always be one of those places in my heart. That was really the first venue where we sold it out.

“I remember being on stage thinking, ‘Gosh, this crowd is amazing. Whoever’s coming on after me is going to love this audience,’ because I was so used to opening to people,” the former American Idol judge said. “And I remember thinking, three songs in, suddenly going, ‘No, we’re it. We’re the act that is on now. They’re all here for us.’

“It was such a vivid memory.”

The four-time Grammy Award and multiple-Country Music Association Award winner was also announced as headliner for the 2020 Country Thunder festival in Calgary.

The Calgary connections continue on Urban’s tenth studio album, Graffiti U, featuring a duet with Calgary-born Lindsay Ell, who also toured with Urban.

While this isn’t the first time Urban will be playing in Calgary, this will be the first CFL game the New Zealand-born singer-songwriter will attend.

“I’m a complete novice with CFL. I’m going to be diving in, unaware of really any of it.

“We’ve been obviously following a little NFL here in the States since I’ve lived here. And certainly, you know, the hockey as well.

“But yeah, Canadian football is all new to me.”

The 107th Grey Cup kicks off at 4 p.m. on Sunday.

–with files from Sue Deyell and Andrew Schultz

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