Keith Urban Shares Memory of First Time He Met Dolly Parton

“I grew up singing her songs.”

Keith Urban Sings with Dolly Parton
Photo: Tony R. Phipps / Contributor/Getty Images

There's no doubt that Dolly Parton makes an impression. Reba McEntire remembers the exact date (September 17, 1977) that she met the country icon and can recall every moment of their passing encounter. Keith Urban remembers his first time meeting Parton, too, calling the whole experience "surreal".

Urban stopped by the set of the Ellen show to pay his respects and bid farewell to the long-running talk show as it wraps its final season. While chatting with Urban, host Ellen DeGeneres brought up a recent interview with Parton where the "9 to 5" singer named Urban as a performer she would love to sing a duet with, which seems like the greatest compliment ever. To somehow make that even nicer, in the interview, which you can watch in the video below, Parton said that Urban reminded her of her brothers. "It was so sweet," Urban told DeGeneres.

Parton's words were especially endearing, because he grew up singing her songs. "I come from working-class parents and a rural kind of background in Australia, and the first time I met Dolly — she's sung with me a few times — and the first time I met her it was surreal, because, I mean, I grew up singing her songs," says Urban. "As a matter of fact, I sang her songs because I was nine years old, and my voice hadn't broken yet, and I sounded like her — I could sing in her key." Urban admitted that there's no way he could do that now, but clearly loves singing with the legend.

Watch the full interview above to see the chemistry between Urban and DeGeneres as he says goodbye to a show he has appeared on 20 times over the many years it was on the air. He also opened up to Degeneres about how the "naysayers, the shine blockers," helped fuel his success. Check it out.

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