By Robyn Collins

Keith Urban has released his new single, “Coming Home,” which features vocals by pop songwriter Julia Michaels.

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The upbeat number opens with a blatant nod to Merle Haggard’s “Mama Tried” and quickly shifts into a feel-good tune embellished with musical twists and turns. A decidedly Urban-esque groove rolls through the chorus.

Urban worked on the song with Michaels, co-writer and co-producer J.R. Rotem and frequent collaborator, songwriter Nicolle Gallyon (“We Were Us,” “Female”).

The country star incorporated the snippet from Haggard’s 1968 song “Mama Tried” after receiving the endorsement of his widow and son, reports Taste of Country. “I called Theresa Haggard and Ben Haggard to play them what we’d been working on,” Urban said. “It was important to me to have their blessing, and I’m so grateful that they love the song.”

“‘Coming Home’ started with an idea I had of using the intro of one of my favorite Haggard songs, ‘Mama Tried,’ to build an entirely new song around it,” he continued. “Then, I took the idea to J.R. Rotem and he put some chords around it. I jotted down the first words that the music made me feel, jumped on a mic and sang the chorus.”

“Hearing that rolling Haggard guitar lick sparked memories of my childhood and my dream to come to America,” concluded Urban. “I knew right then the story of the song was about the struggles of being in a city where your dreams have brought you, but far from your home.”

Listen to “Coming Home” below:

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