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REO Speedwagon’s Kevin Cronin Wants a Country Hit

Hopes Keith Urban records one of his songs.

photo by Tammie Arroyo/AFF

All REO Speedwagon frontman Kevin Cronin wants for Christmas is . . . for Keith Urban to record one of his songs. A little "Can't Fight This Feeling" perhaps?

“I’ve had a lot of musical goals in my life, but getting Keith Urban to do one of my songs is one of my last ones,” Kevin tells “His talent amazes me. If he did just even one of my songs, I can die a happy man.”

The idea might not be so crazy. Kevin first stepped foot on Music Row when he was just a teen, heading to Nashville straight from Chicago to write a handful of songs before hitting it big with REO Speedwagon.

In 2010, he played the We’re All for the Hall benefit concert at the Bridgestone Arena . . . and found himself starstruck. “Here we are playing 'Roll With the Changes' and I look out and see people like Brad Paisley and Martina McBride singing every word,” he recalls. “It blew my mind.”

This year, he learned some guitar licks from the multitalented Vince Gill at the third annual Los Angeles All for the Hall and has been back to Nashville to write with the likes of Martina McBride, Deana Carter and a number of songwriters from Nashville's talent pool.

And, as it has done many times before, the country music scene seems to be ready to welcome him with open arms. “I have always said music with a country/rock vibe is closest to my soul,” he explains. “Lyrically, country songs are the best songs. Throw some pedal steel to some REO Speedwagon hits and they are country. I guess you will just have to wait and see what happens.”

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