As the backup anthem singer for the Calgary Flames, Michela Sheedy has performed for crowds at the Scotiabank Saddledome before but a cheeky sign and a little luck allowed her an opportunity to sing with one of the biggest names in country music on Sunday.

“We’ve been going to see Keith Urban since 2005,” said the 22-year-old. “Every show in Calgary that he’s had we’ve been there. He’s such an inspiration to me and my family just loves him. It’s always a great show.”

The family came prepared with signs for Urban's performance in Calgary. “Me and my sister knew that we wanted to have some sort of sign to hold but we thought it would be funny if my sign said ‘I will trade my sister for a chance to sing with Keith Urban’. She was okay with it. She had another sign that said ‘take me’ so she was in on it. It was all just luck that he managed to notice it out of a crowd of a bunch of other signs.”

Urban did spot Sheedy’s sign and invited her, her younger sister and her mother on stage while Sheedy’s dad captured the moment from the crowd. “When we were on stage and he was talking to my mom and my sister, I had a moment to myself and said ‘Okay, keep it together. Remember your words’,” recalled Sheedy.

When Urban asked the MRU public relations student what she wanted to sing, she launched directly into song. “I just took the opportunity and went with it,” laughed Sheedy. “It was ‘We were us’. It’s a duet that Keith Urban does with Miranda Lambert. Me and him are singing into the same microphone and it was crazy. His face was practically on my face.”  

Sheedy says she was ‘shaking in her boots’ while meeting one of her idols and remains mystified by compliments regarding her supposed composure on stage. “I was really just panicking. He’s a very genuine guy and he complimented me afterwards and said ‘good job’.”

Sheedy says her social media accounts have been ‘blowing up’ since the concert but she is taking her good fortune in stride. “As much as last night was incredible, and it was a lucky moment for me, being an artist and being a musician is a lot of hard work,” explained Sheedy. “I’m not expecting this moment to make things explode for me at all. I’m really prepared to just keep on working hard and writing good music and we’ll see where it goes from there.”

Local musician Mitch Jay has been working with Sheedy of late and calls the 22-year-old ‘a powerhouse vocalist’ and says there’s ‘a badassery to her that seems effortless’.  Jay says artists can be discovered in the strangest of ways and Sheedy’s time with Keith Urban exposed her voice to a lot of music fans. “It could turn into something cool. It definitely doesn’t hurt.”

Hockey fans will have an opportunity to see Sheedy perform the national anthem ahead of Monday night’s preseason game between the Winnipeg Jets and Calgary Flames. The aspiring musician is also among the artists vying for the top prize in the Project Wild – Country Artist Development Boot Camp and will be performing at the Project Wild Showcase on Thursday, September 27 at Knoxville’s.

With files from CTV’s Kevin Fleming