Keith Urban Brings Out His Banjo for His Loretta Lynn Tribute

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Keith Urban celebrated Loretta Lynn‘s deep-running country roots at her public Nashville memorial on Sunday (Oct. 30).

During the CMT broadcast event, called Coal Miner’s Daughter: A Celebration of the Life & Music of Loretta Lynn, Urban stepped onstage for a rendition of “You’re Looking at Country,” Lynn’s Top 10 hit from 1971.

Urban is one of the most celebrated guitarists in country music today, but for this performance, he traded in his axe for another favorite instrument: The banjo. The result was a twangy performance that underscored the song’s central message and did justice to the banjo-led original version of the tune.

The country superstar performed “You’re Looking at Country” with just his banjo for accompaniment, occasionally asking the crowd to sing along — which they heartily did. “God bless you, Loretta,” Keith concluded at the end of his performance before he left the stage.

Urban was one of a long list of stars who joined the bill to perform in Lynn’s honor during her public memorial in Nashville. Alan Jackson, George Strait and Little Big Town were just a few of the artists who took the stage during the show, which aired live and commercial-free on CMT.

Lynn and Urban have long had a special relationship. In 2019, an all-star Nashville tribute show was announced to celebrate her 87th birthday, and she jokingly requested that Urban jump out of her birthday cake. But if a country legend like Lynn asks Urban to fulfill a birthday wish, he’ll do it, joke or no — the singer really did pop out of a gigantic purple cake at the tribute show.

Lynn died on Oct. 4 in her home of Hurricane Mills, Tenn. She was 90 years old.

PHOTOS: Loretta Lynn, Through the Years

Scroll through the photos below to see highlights from Loretta Lynn’s incredible life and career.

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