Alan Jackson picked Keith Urban for his looks

AMERICAN country superstar Alan Jackson first met Keith Urban when the Aussie was basically used as a pin-up boy in one of his music videos.

Years later Jackson not only jokes to fellow Nashville resident Urban about the incident, but is a huge fan of his music.

‘‘I love Keith’s music. He’s the real deal and a real nice fella,’’ Jackson told The Word from Nashville yesterday.

In the early ’90s, Jackson was filming a video clip for the song Mercury Blues when he was told his guitar player was too plain-looking.

‘‘They hired Keith Urban to play guitar in the film clip,’’ Jackson said.

‘‘I just remember being told he was some good-looking young guy in Nashville trying to get started.’’

Despite a career spanning more than 20years and 34 number one hits, Jackson has never been to Australia until now.

He will headline this year’s CMC Rocks the Hunter.

On top of that, he’ll perform a string of shows around the country.

The two-day Hunter Valley music festival, on March 5 and 6, will be held at Hope Estate.

It will also feature Aussie country stars such as Kasey Chambers.

Jackson will perform on the main stage on the Sunday evening.

‘‘I’ve had several conversations over the years about coming to Australia but have never seemed to make it work,’’ Jackson said.

‘‘My manager has a hard enough time getting me to go across the country [America] and tour.’’

The singer-songwriter is touring on the back of his album Freight Train and his best-of record, 34 Number Ones.

Featured on the latter album is Jackson’s collaboration with the Zac Brown band, As She’s Walking Away.

He won a Grammy earlier this month for that performance.

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