When Keith Urban released his album Ripcord in May 2016, one song instantly caught everyone’s attention. That song was “The Fighter,” a duet that Urban performed with his good friend, Carrie Underwood.
For Urban, it was a no-brainer to have Underwood join him on the track. He explained the reason why he picked her as his duet partner during an interview with The Boot, saying, “Carrie and I had sung together before, and I thought our voices blended really well — so she was unquestionably the right choice. It was such a relief that she wanted to do it.”
Once fans got their hands on a copy of Ripcord, they couldn’t get enough of the peppy duet, which Underwood described as being a “dance-y type song.” Even though it wasn’t a single at that time, fans sent “The Fighter” up the charts, and it peaked at the 11th spot on the country chart at that time.
But the song really caught on once it was released as an official single on February 6, 2017. Six days later, Urban and Underwood took their duet to the Grammy Awards, where they brought down the house with their energetic performance.
The official music video for “The Fighter” was released shortly before Urban and Underwood took to the stage at the Grammys. The video carries a fun vibe, as it shows Urban and Underwood singing back and forth in a setup that resembles a boxing ring. The video was a huge hit after it was released, and helped send “The Fighter” back up the charts once again.
However, as popular as their duet has been, Urban and Underwood have had to deal with a bit backlash concerning it. The song’s pop and dance influences angered some fans, with many saying that it wasn’t country enough to be considered a country song. Some fans even said they didn’t think that the song should be played on country radio.
Finally, Urban decided to speak out about the backlash concerning his duet, hoping to set the record straight once and for all. As he explained, he never considered “The Fighter” to be a by-the-book country song:
“I’ve always seen country as a very progressive genre anyway. It’s probably because the country I grew up influenced by was already contemporary country I was thinking recently, I was looking back at my dad’s record collection, and there weren’t many hats in there. It was Charley Pride and Merle Haggard and Glen Campbell. They were all contemporary artists.”
Since Urban sees country music as an ever-changing genre, he didn’t see any problems with “The Fighter” or its style. “When I think about elements that can work in country, I just think it’s 2017, and it’s relative with what elements work in country,” he said.
No matter what the critics think, plenty of people agree that “The Fighter” is a great song! Go ahead and tune in below to catch its fun-filled music video.