As a dedicated husband and father of two girls, Keith Urban honored the ladies in his life with his song, “Female.”
It was released in 2017 as the first single from his album Graffiti U. Though it only peaked at No. 12 on the Billboard Country Airplay charts, it became country radio’s most-added song the week after its release and has absolutely caught national attention for its subject matter.
A Song That Lets The Bravery Of Women Shine
Written by Nicolle Galyon, Ross Copperman, and Shane McAnally, “Female” is Keith Urban’s attempt to address the way today’s society perceives women and the issues about sexual harassment. It is described by many as an empowerment anthem.
The song was actually written just a few days after the 2017 publication of New York Times, exposing movie mogul Harvey Weinstein’s history of sexual harassment and abuse. It was then quickly linked to the #MeToo movement and the push for women’s equality both in the country genre and day-to-day life.
But Urban had no idea about the song’s backstory when he first heard the demo. He instead thought of it as a beautiful, empowering piece of music. And as a father of two daughters, he immediately connected with the song and felt the need to record it.
“It just hit me. As a father of two daughters – six and nine – as a husband, as a son, it just resonated with me as just a beautiful, poignant prayer in a lot of ways too; a divinely timed piece that really needed to be put into the world,” Urban said.
“When I heard the song the day after it was written, it really moved me very strongly. My wife was listening at the same time, and she had the same feeling about the song. I just said I feel very strongly I want to record this song. Luckily, I was in the middle of making my record, and we just went into the studio in my house and recorded it.”
However, Urban faced backlash after he first performed “Female” during the 2017 Country Music Awards. Some critics claimed that Urban was mansplaining feminism to women. Others even find it offensive that the song used the word female as a noun.
One of the songwriters – the only woman in the mix – Nicolle Galyon, came into Urban’s defense. “I can only speak for myself. And I’m so freaking proud to be a female and to be called a female – feels more like a badge of honor to me,” Galyon said.
She also added that “Not only is it important that a man sing it, but it was important that Keith sing it because Keith is believable.”
Moreover, “Female” features backing vocals from Galyon along with Urban’s wife, Nicole Kidman. “She’s on there,” the singer exclaimed. “I thought it was nice and very personal to blend these girls into the song because it just felt very right; that’s what the song means to me.”
“When somebody laughs and implies that she asked for it just ’cause she was wearing a skirt, oh, is that how it works? When somebody talks about how it was Adam first, does that make you second best? Or did he save the best for last?” the powerful song goes. You can listen to it in the video below.