Keith Urban is a country musician, acclaimed guitarist, and grammy award winning songwriter. He was born in New Zealand on 26 October 1967, but moved to Australia during his childhood. He got his start in the music industry in Australia, but he broke into superstardom after his move to America.
Keith Urban began his musical endeavors at an early age entering in local competitions and Country Musical Festivals when he was only 10. He grew up idolizing Dire Straits guitarist Mark Knophler and Lindsay Buckingham from Fleetwood Mac fame and began closely modeling his style after these influences. For the next couple of years Urban made consistent appearances on several Australian Country TV programs and went on to win the golden guitar award at the Tamworth Country Music Festival with collaborator Jenny Wilson.
His debut album was released through EMI on 1 October 1991 and managed to reach number 98 on the Australian Album Charts. Apart from pursuing a solo career Urban was involved in writing songs for other musicians as well as backing them on tour. Urban toured alongside legendary Australian Country musician Slim Dusty as a backup guitarist. During this period he also contributed backing vocals to a live INXS album.
After Urban moved to the United States country hub, Nashville, he collaborated with Alan Jackson for the song Mercury Blues and helped pin the christmas song “Jesus Gets Jealous of Santa Claus” for Toby Keith. In 1997 Urban formed a Country three piece band called The Ranch with fellow members Peter Clarke and Jerry Flowers. Urban contributed lead vocals, guitar, ganjo, and keyboards on their one and only self-titled release. Despite the groups short lived career two singles from the album appeared on the country charts.
Around this period Urban became an ardent user of cocaine, which subsequently led him into rehab. Once Urban became drug-free his career received a significant jumpstart and with the release of his self-titled American debut he reached number 145 on the U.S. Billboard 200 and had a number 1 hit with Go-Go’s singer Charlotte Caffey. His success was amplified with his 2002 release “Golden Road”. The opening track on that album “Somebody Like You” stayed at number 1 on the charts for six weeks. His songs “Who Wouldn’t Wanna Be Me” and “ You’ll Think of Me” both topped the charts with the latter earning him a Grammy for Best Male Country Vocal Performance.
Urban has produced five more albums since “Golden Road” all which have done extraordinarily well with the public and has embarked on multiple world-tours with the likes of Bryan Adams, Carrie Underwood, Taylor Swift and Sugarland.
In addition to his music career Urban has acted as a judge on the Australian version of The Voice and replaced Steven Tyler as a judge for American Idol.