Keith Urban / YouTube
For the past few years, Keith Urban has been given the honor of ringing in the New Year with the folks of Nashville by performing a special concert in the city.
Some of the best moments from those concerts have been when Urban stops and takes the time to recognize some of the musical artists the world lost during the year. But he doesn’t just read off their names in some sort of subtle shout-out.
Instead, Urban devotes a large portion of his concert set to an entirely unique medley he crafts to honor the artists and musicians who left this world. His 2017 medley was packed with songs, honoring everyone from Montgomery Gentry‘s Troy Gentry to Tom Petty.
At the end of the medley, Urban’s wife Nicole Kidman and their daughters joined him to dance along to his performance of Petty’s “Free Fallin’.”
As you can see, Urban doesn’t reserve his end of the year memorial medley for only country artists. He recognizes anyone of any genre, making sure their music lives on.
Of course, Urban can’t take the time to honor everyone who passed over the course of a year, something he acknowledged before performing his 2018 medley. But he did recognize some of the biggest names the music world lost, and he recognized them in one rockin’ way.
The first artist to be acknowledged in Urban’s 2018 medley was Dolores O’Riordan. The Cranberries lead singer passed away in January 2018, leaving an immense legacy behind her.
Urban then transitioned to recognize “The Queen of Soul” Aretha Franklin with a rousing rendition of her famous song, “Respect.” The music icon passed away in August 2018 at her home in Detroit.
From there, Urban took the time to honor one of country music’s departed legends…Roy Clark. The famous country singer and Hee Haw host left this world in November 2018 at the age of 85.
In Clark’s memory, Urban played a lively rendition of the traditional song “Roll in My Sweet Baby’s Arms,” as Clark recorded one of the most famous renditions.
After a powerful performance of the late Swedish musician and DJ Avicii’s “Wake Me Up,” Urban took off into his longest part of the medley.
He started off by playing a familiar riff that the crowd clearly knew well, as they started shouting at the top of their lungs. It was the opening riff to Lynyrd Skynyrd‘s “Sweet Home Alabama.”
Ed King, the Skynyrd guitarist who wrote that riff, passed away in August 2018 at the age of 68.
As if the crowd wasn’t already riled up enough, Urban got them even more hyped when he welcomed a rock and roll icon to the stage to help him honor King.
That icon was none other than Peter Frampton, who has also been a longtime friend of the fellas in Skynyrd.
Everyone went wild when Frampton joined Urban on stage to wrap up the medley with an epic guitar jam. It was the best way to cap off what was already an outstanding performance.
You can check out Urban and Frampton’s collaboration along with the entire medley by tuning in to the clip below. Don’t be surprised if you feel yourself getting goosebumps as you watch. It’s seriously that good!