Name:
Keith Urban
Birth Date:
October 26, 1967
Birth Place:
Whangarei, New Zealand
Height:
6' ˝''
Nationality:
New Zealander
Profession:
Musician
BIOGRAPHY
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You'll Think Of Me

Background:

"I'm grateful when anybody can start to have his or her limited perception of the genre open up a little bit. There's a lot of great music in the country genre that doesn't get heard because people say, 'Well, I don't like country.'" Keith Urban

New Zealand-Australian country music singer Keith Urban made his first U.S. effort with his 2000 self-titled album, which spawned three top five hits, including the number one breakthrough single "But For The Grace Of God." The Aussie star followed it up with two more multi-platinum records, Golden Road and Be Here. In 2006, he received international attention while winning a Grammy for his single "You'll Think Of Me."

Urban, whose trade mark is a monkey holding a guitar above its head, was the first Aussie to win the CMA Male Vocalist of the Year, in 2004. The 5' 10” singer, who posed in the April 2001 edition of Playgirl, was recently voted “Country Music's Sexiest Man” by Country Weekly (2006). On a more private note, he became engaged to fellow Aussie and Hollywood star Nicole Kidman (born on June 20, 1967) on May 17, 2006. The couple, who met at a Hollywood event in January of 2005, is planning to exchange wedding vows on June 24, 2006, in Sydney, Australia.

"It's what we're torn between, isn't it? Bitching and moaning and complaining about this life, and, yet, not wanting to give it up for anybody, or anything."


Country Roots

Childhood and Family:

"I'm very comfortable around cattle. I can ride a horse alright. I can collect eggs and I can clean out a pigsty." Keith Urban
In Whangarei, North Island, New Zealand, Keith Lionel Urban was born on October 26, 1967, to parents Bob Urban and Marienne Urban. He was raised in Australia and when he was 2, moved with his parents and brother, Shane Urban, to Brisbane, Queensland. They later uprooted to Caboolture, about 1 hour north of Brisbane.

By age 15, Urban had left school to hit the road for much of the 1980s. In 1992, in order to further pursue a country music career, he moved to Nashville, Tennessee, in the United States.

"My goal was always to get to Nashville. And I sort of made the decision that I could stay in Australia and keep building my career. But the minute you go to Nashville, you start all over again anyway. So if I'm going to starve, and pay my dues in Nashville, let's go. Let's start it now and not in five or 10 years."

In the late 1990's, Urban battled cocaine addiction, but he soon became determined to quit the habit and checked himself into a treatment center in Nashville, Cumberland Heights.


Golden Road

Career:

"Music is like air to me. It's like breathing." Keith Urban

Raised by parents who loved American culture, especially country music, little Keith Urban frequently heard records by Charley Pride, Dolly Parton, Don Williams and Jim Reeves. At age 6, he picked up a guitar. By age 8, he had won several country music talent shows and found himself steadily worked in a band as a teenager.

Urban signed with EMI in Australia in 1990 and recorded his first solo album, which charted four No. 1 country hits there. Arriving in Nashville, Tennessee, Urban, alongside Australian drummer Peter Clarke and West Virginian bass player Jerry Flowers, formed a trio called The Ranch. In one of their live shows, the band scored a record deal with Capitol Nashville and a management contract with I.R.S. Records (founder/Police manager Miles Copeland). They released a self-titled album in 1997 to critical acclaim, but Urban later disbanded the group to pursue a solo career.

"The hardest thing I've dealt with was figuring out what to do after The Ranch. I thought, 'I'm lost out in the ether.'" Keith Urban
After once battling cocaine addiction in the late 1990s, Urban released his self-titled American debut in 2000. His American first effort delivered three top 5 hits and gave him the title of “Top New Male Vocalist” at the 2001 Academy of Country Music Awards. Meanwhile, his unique guitar-playing attracted the attention of other artists. Urban performed as a session musician for Garth Brooks' album Double Live, the Dixie Chicks' second album Fly and an album Matt Rollings was producing.

Urban released his sophomore album, Golden Road, in 2002. It spawned the hit single "Somebody Like You," which stayed eight weeks at No. 1 on the charts. Three more singles followed, two peaked at No. 1 and the other reached No. 3. Golden Road received platinum status in every country it was released in and nabbed triple platinum status in the United States.

2004 saw Urban releasing his next album, Be Here. The album consists of 13 songs, 9 of which were written by Urban. It spawned the number one singles "Days Go By," "Making Memories of Us" and "Better Life." Other singles include "You're My Better Half" and "Tonight I Wanna Cry." Be Here received double-platinum sales, topped #1 on the Billboard Hot Country Albums chart and #3 on the Billboard 200. It was also nominated for best country album at both the Academy of Country Music Awards and the Grammys.

That same year, Urban went on his first headlining tour titled Keith Urban Be Here '04, which was sponsored by country video channel CMT. He continued hitting the road and was very successful with his Alive in '05 tour. After performing in the Live 8 Philadelphia concert on July 2, 2005, Urban, alongside music stars like Liz Phair and Joss Stone, was chosen by The Gap to appear in their "Favorites" ad campaign.

"When you're touring, it's wonderful because you're always on the move. But anybody that's single recognizes that the hard part is when the work's over - Sundays, Christmas holidays, New Year's Eve - when everybody goes home. That's when you go, 'Oh, that's right. This is my home, out here in the middle of nowhere.’" Keith Urban

Recently, Urban was named CMA's “Entertainer of the Year.” In late September, he released a DVD which he recorded in California, titled Livin' Right Now. His most recent performances include "Better Life" at the CMA Awards and "You'll Think of Me" at the American Music Awards. He also performed "Tonight I Wanna Cry" and played guitar for Brooks & Dunn's song "Believe" at the 2006 ACM Awards.

After receiving several CMA Awards, Urban won a Grammy for Best Male Country Vocal Performance for "You'll Think of Me," the song which he performed during the prestigious music ceremony. He also played "The Lucky One" with Faith Hill. As for his upcoming performance, Urban has agreed to play at Mohegan Sun’s 10th anniversary celebration, at the Mohegan Sun Arena on October 20, 2006.

"I'm really a one-day-at-a-time kind of person, especially now in my life. I read this quote recently: 'Every day, you get better or you get worse. What did you do today?' It's so blunt, but it resonated with me. I think about that before I go to bed each night. It's great to be able to think, 'Today, I got better.' It's great having that sense of accomplishment at the end of the day." Keith Urban


Awards:

  • CMT: Music Awards Video of The Year, Better Life, 2006
  • ACM: Top Male Vocalist of the Year (Second year in a row), 2006
  • Country Weekly: Country Music's Sexiest Man, 2006
  • Grammy: Best Male Country Vocal Performance for You'll Think Of Me, 2006
  • ACM: Album of the Year, Be Here, 2005
  • ACM: Top Male Vocalist, 2005
  • ARIA: Country Album of the Year, Be Here, 2005
  • Billboard Music Award: Top-selling Pop Catalog Album of the Year Golden Road, 2005
  • CMA: Entertainer of the Year (first non-American male. First non-American was Shania Twain in 1999), 2005
  • CMA: International Artist of the Year, 2005
  • CMA: Male Vocalist of the Year, 2005
  • CMT Music Awards: Video of the Year, Days Go By, 2005
  • French Association of County Music: Artist of the Year, 2005
  • Radio Music Awards: Artist of the Year, 2005
  • XM: "So You Wanna Be a Movie Star?" Artists We'd Like to See Crossover to Films, 2005
  • XM: Country Artist of the Year, 2005
  • CMA: Male Vocalist of the Year (first non-American), 2004
  • FCMA: Best Foreign Music, 2004
  • ARIA: Country Album of the Year, Golden Road, 2003
  • BMI: Song of the Year, Somebody Like You, 2003
  • Country Weekly Fan Favorite Award: Favorite New Artist, 2003
  • TCMA: Video Clip of the Year, Somebody Like You, 2003
  • ACM: Top New Male Vocalist, 2001
  • ARIA: Outstanding Achievement Award, 2001
  • CMA: Horizon Award (first non-American), 2001
  • CMAA: Golden Guitar Instrumentalist, 2001
  • Mo Australian Show Business Ambassador of the Year, 2001
  • VMA: Male Vocalist Award, 2001
  • CMAA: Golden Guitar Instrumentalist, 1998
  • CMAA: Golden Guitar Instrumentalist, 1997
  • CMAA: Golden Guitar Instrumentalist, 1992
  • CMAA: Golden Guitar Male Vocalist, 1992
  • CMAA: Golden Guitar/Best New Talent, 1991
  • CMAA: Star Maker Award, 1990
  • CCMA: Junior Male Vocalist, 1983
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