Carrie Underwood and Keith Urban have been facing backlash from country music purists ever since they dropped their duet "The Fighter" earlier this year, and now Urban is hitting back at fans claiming his and Underwood's duet doesn't belong on country radio.
Keith hit back amid the backlash over his and Carrie's hit, admitting that "The Fighter" was never intended to be a full-on country-sounding single.
"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," Urban, who hails from Australia, told Rare Country as fans continue to call out Keith and Carrie for the more pop-leaning sound of their duet.
Keith then went on to reveal that he was heavily influenced by 80's music when it came to working on "The Fighter," which marked his first official duet with Underwood."I realized that's always been a big influence for me with the genre anyway," Urban said of how 80's music has played a part in his unique musical style while he was working on his and Carrie's new duet. "So, 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."
But just because some fans aren't exactly embracing the more pop sound of Keith and Carrie's stellar duet, Urban admitted that that's not going to stop him from experimenting when it comes to putting his own take on country music.
"It's always had this wobbling effect of someone goes too far [experimenting]," Urban said of the genre amid the backlash he and Underwood are receiving, "but in the process the genre keeps moving forward. That's what I'm most inspired by."
Keith Urban's latest comments come just weeks after Carrie Underwood initially slammed those calling her and Keith out for "The Fighter's" lack of country elements before the duo's performance of the song at the 59th Annual Grammy Awards last month.
"I love that Keith always pushes boundaries of music," Underwood said last month when asked about their duet during Grammys rehearsals, praising her duet partner for his musical style and hitting back at fans claiming the song didn't have enough traditionally country elements. "Yes, [Keith's] an incredible country music artist, but he's an incredible artist," Carrie said.
"I don't feel like it necessarily fits into a genre of music," Carrie continued of "The Fighter" at the time as fans continued to hit back, adding that she believes her and Urban's duet is "all-encompassing" and doesn't fit just one genre of music.
"I was just really glad that he asked me to be a part of it," Underwood added.
Keith and Carrie's hit backs come after weeks of fans slamming Urban and Underwood for "The Fighter," as some country purists claimed the song doesn't have enough country elements for two artists who made their name within the genre and even claimed the duet should not be played on country radio.
"'The Fighter' by Keith and Carrie is great. But can it has no place on a country station. Definitely not a country song," @KylieYoung_11 recently wrote of Underwood and Urban's duet on Twitter, while @Grant_Warf added on the social media site, "Keith and Carrie's new song is the furthest thing from country music."
"This new Carrie Underwood and Keith Urban song is a disgrace to country music," Twitter user @DylanHamilton2 hit back of the Urban and Underwood's track. "This c*** should never be played on a country station."
But despite the "not country" backlash from some purists, it looks like Carrie and Keith are definitely having the last laugh.
As of March 13, Carrie and Keith's "The Fighter" is at No. 25 on Mediabase's Country Airplay chart, while Underwood's duet with the former American Idol judge has already peaked at No. 5 on Billboard's US Hot Country Songs chart and has gone platinum in Australia.
What do you think of fans slamming Carrie Underwood and Keith Urban by claiming their duet "The Fighter" doesn't belong on country radio?
[Featured Image by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images]