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John Cougar, John Deere, John 3:16

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"John Cougar, John Deere, John 3:16"
Single by Keith Urban
from the album Ripcord
Released9 June 2015 (2015-06-09)[1]
FormatDigital download
GenreCountry pop
Keith Urban singles chronology
"Raise 'Em Up"
"John Cougar, John Deere, John 3:16"
"Break on Me"

"John Cougar, John Deere, John 3:16" is a song written by Shane McAnally, Ross Copperman, and Josh Osborne and recorded by New Zealand-born Australian country music singer Keith Urban. It was released on 9 June 2015[1] as the first single from Urban's 2016 album Ripcord.[3] The song has a slow 1970s funk vibe that carries distinct drum loops and several time changes, with production from Urban and longtime co-producer Dann Huff. The song has received positive reviews from music critics who praised the production and lyrics, as well as Urban's return to traditional country with a brand-new sound.


Urban debuted the song at the Country Radio Seminar in Nashville, Tennessee in February 2015. Urban told The Boot that it "was sent to me a few months ago by one of the songwriters, and I loved it immediately".[4] Lyrically, the song uses several name-drops to illustrate the narrator's influences in life, culminating in "I learned everything I needed to know from John Cougar, John Deere, John 3:16." Musically, it features a "slowed, almost '70s funk vibe with distinct drum loops and several time changes".[5] Urban recorded the song at Blackbird Studios in Nashville, and co-produced it with longtime producer Dann Huff. Urban told Nash Country Weekly that he was having difficulty creating a suitable vocal track until he took a bass guitar from the studio wall and played a bass line which he had originally intended to replace with one from a session musician, but ultimately left in the final recording.[2]

The song was released to radio on 9 June 2015, and Urban performed it the next day on the CMT Music Awards.[6]

Critical reception[edit]

Billy Dukes of Taste of Country reviewed the song with favor, saying that Keith Urban "returns to more traditional country themes while continuing to push his sound in new directions" and that it "has an everyman quality to it that heightens the song’s sharpness. It’s a good, mellow groove that won’t soon get old."[7] Tammy Ragusa of Nash Country Weekly gave the song an A– grade, saying that it was "one of the catchiest, most infectious songs of the summer" and "Dann Huff lets the song's arrangement ebb and flow". She also praised the lyrics, saying "there is some depth and a message."[8]

The song was nominated for Best Country Solo Performance at the 58th Annual Grammy Awards but lost to Chris Stapleton's "Traveller".


From Ripcord liner notes.[9]

  • Matt Chamberlain – drums, programming
  • Ross Copperman – gang vocals
  • Jerry Flowers – background vocals
  • Dann Huff – acoustic guitar, gang vocals
  • Charlie Judge – keyboards
  • Andy Snyder – gang vocals
  • Russell Terrell – background vocals
  • Keith Urban – acoustic guitar, bass guitar, electric guitar, vocals
  • Jonathan Yudkin – violin
  • Joe Baldridge – engineering
  • Eric Lijestrand – acoustic guitar overdubs
  • Serban Ghenea – mixing
  • John Hanes – engineering
  • Dann Huff – production, engineering
  • Keith Urban – production

Music video[edit]

The music video was directed by Shane Drake and premiered in August 2015.[10]

Commercial performance[edit]

The song debuted on the Hot Country Songs chart at number 47 on the week before its official release, and reached number 24 the following week. It also debuted on the Country Airplay chart at number 26, and at number 7 on the Country Digital Songs chart with 36,000 copies sold in the US.[11] The song peaked at number 2 on the Hot Country Songs chart for the week of 19 September 2015, and number 2 on the Country Airplay chart a week later. It reached number 40 on the US Billboard Hot 100 for the week of 10 October 2015. The song has sold 663,000 copies in the US as of February 2016.[12] This is Keith's eighteenth top 40 hit on the US Billboard Hot 100.

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (2015) Peak
Canada (Canadian Hot 100)[13] 35
Canada Country (Billboard)[14] 1
US Billboard Hot 100[15] 40
US Country Airplay (Billboard)[16] 2
US Hot Country Songs (Billboard)[17] 2

Year-end charts[edit]

Chart (2015) Position
Canada (Canadian Hot 100)[18] 90
US Country Airplay (Billboard)[19] 25
US Hot Country Songs (Billboard)[20] 9

Certifications and sales[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/sales
Canada (Music Canada)[21] Platinum 80,000double-dagger
United States (RIAA)[22] Platinum 1,000,000*

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone


  1. ^ a b Hollabaugh, Lorie (8 June 2015). "Keith Urban To Debut Single From Next Album". MusicRow. Retrieved 25 June 2015.
  2. ^ a b Rodman, Sarah (10 August 2015). "Bass Pro: Keith Urban is all about that bass on new hit 'John Cougar, John Deere, John 3:16', the fastest-selling single of his career". Nash Country Weekly. 22 (32): 46–47.
  3. ^ Leahey, Andrew (27 October 2015). "Keith Urban Reveals New Album 'Ripcord'". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 27 October 2015.
  4. ^ Stefano, Angela (June 9, 2015). "Keith Urban Releases 'John Cougar, John Deere, John 3:16′ as New Single [LISTEN]". The Boot. Retrieved June 25, 2015.
  5. ^ "Keith Urban Debuts New Single 'John Cougar, John Deere, John 3:16′: Listen". June 9, 2015. Retrieved June 25, 2015.
  6. ^ Tom Roland (June 25, 2015). "The Long Road to Completing 'John Cougar,' Keith Urban's Newest Hit". Billboard.
  7. ^ Dukes, Billy (June 9, 2015). "ToC Critic's Pick: Keith Urban, 'John Cougar, John Deere, John 3:16' [Listen]". Taste of Country. Retrieved June 25, 2015.
  8. ^ Ragus, Tammy (July 20, 2015). "Reviews: 'John Cougar, John Deere, John 3:16'". Nash Country Weekly. 22 (29): 11. ISSN 1074-3235.
  9. ^ Ripcord (CD booklet). Keith Urban. Capitol Records Nashville/Hit Red Records. 2016. B0023591-02.CS1 maint: others (link)
  10. ^ Whitaker, Sterling (August 28, 2015). "Keith Urban Takes a Visual Trip in 'John Cougar, John Deere, John 3:16′ Video". Taste of Country. Retrieved August 28, 2015.
  11. ^ Matt Bjorke (June 17, 2015). "Country Music's Top 30 Digital Singles: Week of June 17, 2015". Roughstock. Sales figure given here
  12. ^ Bjorke, Matt (February 8, 2015). "The Top 30 Digital Country Singles: February 8, 2016". Roughstock.
  13. ^ "Keith Urban Chart History (Canadian Hot 100)". Billboard.
  14. ^ "Keith Urban Chart History (Canada Country)". Billboard.
  15. ^ "Keith Urban Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard.
  16. ^ "Keith Urban Chart History (Country Airplay)". Billboard.
  17. ^ "Keith Urban Chart History (Hot Country Songs)". Billboard.
  18. ^ "Best of 2015: Canadian Hot 100". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. 2015. Retrieved December 9, 2015.
  19. ^ "Best of 2015: Country Airplay". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. 2015. Retrieved December 9, 2015.
  20. ^ "Best of 2015: Hot Country Songs". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. 2015. Retrieved December 9, 2015.
  21. ^ "Canadian single certifications – Keith Urban – John Cougar, John Deere, John". Music Canada. Retrieved May 17, 2017.
  22. ^ "American single certifications – Keith Urban – John Cougar, John Deere, John 3:16". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved May 17, 2017. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH. 

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