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Keith Urban

Keith Lionel Urban (born 26 October 1967) is a New Zealand born and Australian raised country music singer, songwriter and guitarist whose commercial success has been mainly in the United States, Canada and Australia. Urban was born in Whangarei, New Zealand. His parents moved the family to Australia when he was 2 years old, later he began his career in Australia at an early age. In 1991, he released a self-titled debut album, and charted four singles in Australia before moving to the United States in 1992. Eventually, Urban found work as a session guitarist before starting a band known as The Ranch, which recorded one studio album on Capitol Records and charted two singles on the Billboard country charts. Still signed to Capitol, he made his solo American debut in 1999 with the album Keith Urban. Certified platinum in the U.S., it also produced his first American Number One in "But for the Grace of God". His breakthrough hit was the Number One "Somebody Like You", from his second Capitol album Golden Road (2002). This album also earned Urban his first Grammy Award win for "You'll Think of Me", its fourth single and the fourth Billboard Number One of his career. 2004's Be Here, his third American album, produced three more Number Ones, and became his highest-selling album, earning 4× Multi-Platinum certification. Love, Pain & the Whole Crazy Thing was released in 2006, producing the record-setting No.17 country chart debut of "Once in a Lifetime", as well as Urban's second Grammy for the song "Stupid Boy", while a Greatest Hits package entitled Greatest Hits: 18 Kids followed in late 2007. This album was re-released a year later as Greatest Hits: 19 Kids with one track added: the number one "You Look Good in My Shirt", which he had previously recorded on Golden Road. Additional albums Defying Gravity and Get Closer were released on 31 March 2009 and 16 November 2010, respectively. Urban has released a total of nine studio albums (one of which was released only in the United Kingdom), as well as one album in The Ranch. He has charted more than fifteen singles on the U.S. country charts, including fourteen Number Ones. Urban plays acoustic and electric guitar, as well as banjo, bass guitar, mandolin, piano, sitar, bouzouki and drums. Life and career edit: Background edit: Keith Lionel Urban was born in Whangarei, New Zealand, but later moved and lived with his parents in Caboolture, Queensland, Australia. By age six, Urban was already thinking about getting into the music business. He began learning the techniques at age seven and began winning young singing contests by age eight. A few years later he began to make inroads into the Australian country music scene with regular appearances on the Reg Lindsay Country Homestead TV Program, Mike McClellan's Music Program and various other TV Programs performing in duet with Jenny Wilson, local Brisbane girl with whom he won a golden guitar award at the Tamworth Country Music Festival. He also performed regularly on stage at the Northern Suburbs Country Music Club near Caboolture. In 1990, Urban signed with EMI in Australia and recorded his first solo album, which charted four No. 1 country hits in Australia, New Zealand, and Germany. Urban toured as a back-up to Slim Dusty in 1993-4. In the mid 1990s, Dusty and Urban recorded a re-worked duet of Dusty's classic "Lights on the Hill" and Urban appeared for the first time at the Grand Ole Opry backing Dusty. In 1992, he moved to Nashville, Tennessee, where he found work as a guitarist for Brooks & Dunn and can be seen backing Alan Jackson in his music video for "Mercury Blues". Later, Urban formed The Ranch, a three-piece group that released their self-named album in 1997 that included "Walk In The Country". In 2004 it was re-issued with two bonus tracks and a version of "Stuck in the Middle with You", first recorded by Stealers Wheel. Originally the front man for The Ranch, Urban disbanded the group to pursue a solo career in 1998. In 1999, Urban found "Vocal Coach to the Stars" Brett Manning, and worked with him up until 2001. In August 2000, Urban was the first male New Zealand performer to reach the top 10 on the U.S. country chart with "Your Everything". At the time he was spelling his name "keith urban". In Nashville, Urban became a frequent user of cocaine. After reaching a personal nadir in 1998, he became determined to give up the habit and checked into Cumberland Heights, a treatment center in Nashville. After cleaning up, Urban released his self-titled American debut in 1999, which produced three top 5 hits and secured for him the Top New Male Vocalist Award at the 2001 Academy of Country Music Awards and the 2001 Country Music Association's Horizon Award. Widely regarded for his guitar skills, has performed as a session musician on albums such as Garth Brooks' Double Live, Dixie Chicks' Fly, and Paul Brandt's This Time Around. Urban performed "Lights on the Hill" for Tamworth's 2004 tribute concert following the death of Australia's Slim Dusty, an artist whom Urban had both written for and covered. Urban was also a judge for the 8th annual Independent Music Awards. 2002 - 2006 : Golden Road & Be Here edit: Urban released Golden Road in 2002, and the success of the single "Somebody Like You" sent his career into high gear. Touring as a supporting act for renowned country acts Brooks & Dunn, Martina McBride and Kenny Chesney honed Urban's skills and stage-craft. Country video channel CMT signed on as the title sponsor of Urban's first headlining arena tour titled Keith Urban Be Here '04 with opening act Katrina Elam. Urban continued his meteoric rise to fame in 2005 with a very successful tour with Elam called Alive in '05. He performed in the Live 8 Philadelphia concert on 2 July 2005 and had been selected by The Gap to appear alongside seven other musical artists in their "Favorites" campaign. He was named the 2005 CMA's Male Vocalist of the Year. He released a DVD in late September 2005 entitled Livin' Right Now, recorded in at the Wiltern Theater in California in December 2004. In 2005 Urban performed in front of European audiences for the first time. In May Urban supported Bryan Adams on his UK and Ireland tour, which included dates in Earls Court, London, SECC, Glasgow and The Point, Dublin. On 6 June a UK only album, Days Go By was released, this album contained songs from both Be Here and Golden Road . In October, Urban returned for a headlining tour with Nerina Pallot as support act. Urban has recently performed "Better Life" on the CMA Awards and "You'll Think of Me" on the American Music Awards. He also performed at the Grammys playing "You'll Think of Me" and "The Lucky One" with Faith Hill. At the 2006 ACM Awards Urban performed "Tonight I Wanna Cry" and played guitar for Brooks & Dunn's song "Believe". 2006 - 2009 : Love, Pain, & The Whole Crazy Thing edit: On 21 August 2006, Urban made history when his new single "Once in a Lifetime" debuted at No. 17, setting a new record for the highest-debuting country single in the 62-year history of Billboard's country charts. The record was formerly held by Garth Brooks' "Good Ride Cowboy" and Eddie Rabbitt's "Every Which Way But Loose", both of which debuted at No. 18. "Good Ride Cowboy" was the highest in the BDS era (1990-present). The song however would soon be beaten by Kenny Chesney's "Don't Blink", which debuted at No. 16, and later Garth Brooks' "More Than a Memory", which debuted at No. 1. Urban is also a winner of numerous "Golden Guitars", which are presented annually during the Tamworth Country Music Festival at "The Country Music Association of Australia's Annual Awards" in Tamworth, New South Wales Australia. He is also a former winner of the Toyota Starmaker Contest, which is held each year in conjunction with the CMAA Awards and the Tamworth Country Music Festival. Keith was named artist of the month for July 2007 on the television network GAC (Great American Country). He answered a question of the day every day that month, and did multiple interviews about love, life, his new album and his stay in rehab. On 7 July 2007, Keith performed with Alicia Keys at one of Al Gore's Live Earth concerts held around the world. The concerts were held to raise awareness of global warming. Keith performed at the concert held in New York City and said in an interview that global warming is not a political issue, and what he is doing to help the environment is running all bio-diesel buses in his Love, Pain and The Whole Crazy World Tour. Urban released his first greatest hits collection, Greatest Hits: 18 Kids, on 20 November 2007. The CD contains all of his top 10 hits, along with two new songs, "Romeo's Tune" and "Got It Right This Time (The Celebration)." In January 2008, Urban embarked on the Love, Pain and the Whole Crazy Carnival Ride Tour with fellow country singer Carrie Underwood. In early May 2008, Urban debuted a new song at the Grand Ole Opry titled "A New Sunshine". And in late May 2008, Urban re-recorded a song from his sophomore CD, "You Look Good in My Shirt". The song was released on the radio at the end of May. "Over the years it ("You Look Good In My Shirt") has always played like a hit song," said Keith. "That, combined with numerous requests from both fans and radio about why it was never a single, inspired us to get back into the studio and re-record the song."(keithurban.net) The single was a pre-cursor to the "Love, Pain & the Whole Crazy World Tour" concert DVD release in the Fall of '08. Urban's newest release "Defying Gravity" was released 31 March 2009. "You Look Good in My Shirt" was the first single from Keith Urban's re-recorded 2007 album, Greatest Hits: 18 Kids. The album was released under a different title, Greatest Hits: 19 Kids on 19 August 2008. Keith Urban was also featured on Brad Paisley's album Play, on the song "Start a Band." 2009 - 2010 : Defying Gravity edit: Urban recently announced that the lead single for his forthcoming 5th studio album will be titled "Sweet Thing". This song became the first No.1 single off the album. The song was co-written with Monty Powell, who wrote some of Urban's past hits, and co-produced with his longtime producer Dann Huff. The album, Defying Gravity, was released on 31 March 2009, through Capitol Records. Its second single, "Kiss a Girl", debuted in March 2009. Urban performed this song on American Idol, during the season 8 finale, as a duet with eventual winner Kris Allen. Its third single, "Only You Can Love Me This Way", is another chart-topping song, co-written by Steve McEwan and John Reid. Defying Gravity debuted at No.1 on the Billboard 200. This was Urban's first No.1 CD. His past two albums debuted at No. 3. Keith Urban has received four nominations on the 2009 CMA Awards, including Entertainer Of The Year and Male Vocalist Of The Year for a fourth consecutive year in a row. He also earned a nomination for Album Of The Year for Defying Gravity and shares a nomination with Brad Paisley for Music Video Of The Year for "Start A Band". A video for "Hit The Ground Runnin'" premiered on 2 October on CMT and CMT.com. Urban's 2009 Escape Together tour, supporting the album, Defying Gravity, featured many big name opening acts, including Taylor Swift, Sugarland, and Jason Aldean. On 27 June 2009 Keith filmed a video for the song, "Only You Can Love Me This Way", at the Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines, Iowa. On 5 May 2010, whilst being interviewed by CNN about the flooding in Nashville, Urban stated that he was about to begin recording a new album, but all his guitars were now underwater. Urban's 2010 Summer Lovin' tour consisted of mostly festival shows. 2010 - Present : Get Closer edit: In May 2010, Urban entered the studio to begin work on a new album. The recording process was documented in a blog on his official website. At the beginning of September, it was announced that the album would be titled Get Closer and would see release on 16 November. At the same time, "Put You in a Song" was revealed to be the first single and was released digitally and to radio on 13 September. Keith Urban appeared at the 44th Annual Country Music Awards on 10 November 2010. To promote the new album, Keith played surprise concerts at New York City's Penn Station as well as a train station in Philadelphia. The impromptu concerts included a 4-song set list mixing in new and old hits. On 30 November, Keith played a free concert at The Ice Palace of the West Edmonton Mall in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Fans lined up days in advance to hear him play the first single (Put You in a Song) from "Get Closer" and a short collection of past hits. He also played a tribute to Johnny Cash with "Folsom Prison Blues" and Steve Miller's "The Joker" On 15 December, After appearing on Oprah's Australian special, Keith decided to play an acoustic set in Pitt St Mall in Sydney. There he played in front of 2500+ people. He also called up a young fan to play his single Put You In a Song. Urban announced the "Get Closer - World Tour 2011", an Australian, American and Canadian tour in support of the album. His American tour features country artist Jake Owen supporting. The Canadian leg features The Band Perry as the opening act. Urban also recorded a song titled "For You," which was featured as the theme song of the 2012 action film Act of Valor. It also appears on the film's soundtrack. On 10 April 2012, Urban was asked to be a member of the Grand Ole Opry by Vince Gill at the third annual We're All for the Hall benefit concert which Urban organized. He was inducted into the Grand Ole Opry on 21 April 2012. On 16 September 2012, Keith Urban volunteered some time to talk to high school students at the Country Music Hall of Fame and museum. Urban plays guitar on the song "Highway Don't Care" off Tim McGraw's 2013 album Two Lanes of Freedom. Urban also announced a new album in the works, and set it to be released late 2013, early 2014. With that he also announced a tour to come after he wraps up filming American Idol. Television career edit: The Voice edit: On 23 November 2011, Urban was confirmed as one of the four vocal coaches in the upcoming Australian version of the reality singing competition The Voice. On 14 September 2012, Urban released a statement that he would not be signing back on for season 2. American Idol edit: The Fox network officially announced on 16 September 2012, that Urban will be a judge on the American Idol show alongside Randy Jackson, Mariah Carey, and Nicki Minaj. Personal life edit: Urban met Australian actress Nicole Kidman at G'Day LA, a Hollywood event honoring Australians, in January 2005, but they reportedly didn't begin dating until 6 months later. Kidman and Urban were married on Sunday, 25 June 2006, at the Cardinal Cerretti Memorial Chapel on the grounds of St Patrick's Estate, Manly in Sydney. On 19 October 2006, Urban checked himself into the Betty Ford Center in California. On 20 October, Urban issued a statement saying: "I deeply regret the hurt this has caused Nicole and the ones who love and support me. One can never let one's guard down on recovery, and I'm afraid that I have." On 18 January 2007, Urban announced his completion of rehab and his plans to go on tour to promote his new album, Love, Pain & the Whole Crazy Thing. On 2 February 2007, Urban filed a lawsuit against a New Jersey painter by the same name, who has a web site KeithUrban.com. The singer wanted to acquire the rights to the URL. Keith Urban the singer's URL is KeithUrban.NET. The painter counter sued. The lawsuit was settled in the painter's favor. On 1 October 2007, while riding, Urban skidded off his motorbike when a paparazzo followed him near his home in Sydney; Urban was not hurt. In a statement released by his publicists, Urban says the incident was "the result of one person's desire to do his job and my desire to maintain my privacy." Urban says he tried to avoid an oncoming car and dropped his bike. He says the photographer came to his assistance without taking photos. On 7 January 2008, Nicole Kidman confirmed she and Urban were expecting their first child together. Kidman's publicist said "the couple are thrilled and cannot wait." Kidman gave birth to their first child, a daughter, Sunday Rose Kidman Urban, in 2008 in Nashville, Tennessee. She weighed 2.93 kg (6 lbs, 7.5 oz). On his website, Urban stated, "Earlier this morning Nic gave birth to our beautiful baby girl, Sunday Rose Kidman Urban. We want to thank everybody that has kept us in their thoughts and prayers. We feel very blessed and grateful that we can share this joy with all of you today." In 2010, Urban and Kidman had a second daughter, Faith Margaret Kidman Urban, via surrogate at Nashville's Centennial Women's Hospital. The baby is biologically Urban's and Kidman's. On 17 January 2011, Keith posted this statement on his website: "Our family is truly blessed, and just so thankful, to have been given the gift of baby Faith Margaret. No words can adequately convey the incredible gratitude that we feel for everyone who was so supportive throughout this process, in particular our gestational carrier." Faith's middle name is after Kidman's late grandmother.
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