Lionel Urban (born 26 October 1967, New Zealand),
is an Australian Grammy Award winning, country
music singer. Two of his albums, Be Here (2004)
and his latest album, Love, Pain & the whole
crazy thing (2006), have reached the Top 10 on
the U.S. Billboard 200 albums chart. He has scored
seven number one songs in the United States to
date and a total of sixteen top ten hits, including
"Somebody Like You," "You'll Think
of Me," "Days Go By," "Making
Memories of Us," "Stupid Boy,"
and "Better Life."
was born in Whangarei, New Zealand, though later
moved with his parents to Caboolture, Queensland,
Australia. By age seven, Urban was already thinking
about getting into the music business and making
his mark in Nashville. He began learning the techniques
at age six and began winning young singing contests
by age eight. By twelve he was booking his band
in local clubs, and at 15 he quit school to hit
the road. In 1990, Urban signed with EMI in Australia
and recorded his first solo album, which charted
four No. 1 country hits in Australia. 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
one album in 1997 to critical acclaim. Originally
the front man for The Ranch, Urban disbanded the
group to pursue a solo career in 1998.
Nashville, Keith 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,
he has performed as a session musician on albums
such as Charlie Daniels, Emerson Drive, Garth
Brooks' Double Live, Dixie Chicks' Fly, and Paul
Brandt's This Time Around.
released Golden Road in 2002, and the success
of the single "Somebody Like You" sent
his career into high gear. The single spent eight
consecutive weeks at the top of the charts, remaining
at No. 1 longer than any other country artist
in 2002. Touring as a supporting act for renowned
country acts Brooks & Dunn 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 July 2, 2005 and had
been chosen by The Gap to appear alongside seven
other musical stars in their "Favorites"
campaign. He was named the 2005 CMA's Entertainer
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
2005 Urban played 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 June 6 a UK only album,
Days Go By was released, this album contained
songs from both Be Here and Golden Road.
October Urban returned for a headlining tour with
Nerina Pallot and Richard Winsland as support
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."
Monday August 21, 2006, Urban made history when
his new single "Once in a Lifetime"
debuted at #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 #18. "Good Ride
Cowboy" was the highest in the BDS era (1990-present).
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, 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.
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.
July 7, 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.
released his first greatest hits collection, Greatest
Hits: 18 Kids, on November 20, 2007. The CD contains
all of his #1 hits, along with two new songs,
"Romeo's Tune" and "Got It Right
This Time (The Celebration)."
1992, Urban dated veterinary technician Laura
Sigler for eight years. Urban proposed to Sigler
in 2001 but the pair eventually split in 2002.
also dated former supermodel Niki Taylor on and
off from 2002-2004.
met Australian actress Nicole
Kidman at G'Day LA, a Hollywood
event honouring Australians, in January 2005 but
they didn't begin dating until 6 months later.
Kidman and Urban were married on Sunday June 25,
2006, at the Cardinal Cerretti Memorial Chapel
in the grounds of St Patrick's Estate, Manly in
Oct. 19, 2006, Urban checked himself into the
Betty Ford Center in California. On Oct. 20, 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 Jan. 18, 2007, Urban announced his completion
of rehab and his plans to go on tour to promote
his new album, Love, Pain & the whole crazy
Feb. 2, 2007, Urban filed a lawsuit on a New Jersey
painter by the same name, who has a web site http://www.keithurban.com.
The singer wants to acquire the rights to the
URL. Keith Urban the singer's URL is http://www.keithurban.net.
The painter has countersued.
October 1, 2007, while headed to an Alcoholics
Anonymous meeting, Urban skidded off of 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. (Credit:
Man Australia does not represent Keith Urban