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 #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. Urban's latest work, Defying Gravity was released in March 2009.
Urban has released a total of eight 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 ten Number Ones. Urban plays acoustic and electric guitar, as well as ganjo, bass guitar, mandolin, piano, bouzouki and drums.
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 started getting regular appearances on the Reg Lindsay Country Homestead TV Program, Mike McClellands 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 Tamworth. 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.
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. 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 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, he 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 was also a judge for the 8th annual Independent Music Awards. His contributions helped assist independent artists' careers across the globe.
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 chosen by The Gap to appear alongside seven other musical stars 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 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 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 and Richard Winsland as support acts.
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."
On Monday 21 August 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). The song however would soon be beaten by Kenny Chesney's Don't Blink, which debuted at #16, and later Garth Brooks' "More Than A Memory", which debuted at #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, 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 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.
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 March 31, 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 instrumental album titled Play, on a song called "Start a Band."
Urban recently announced that the lead single for his forthcoming 5th studio album will be titled "Sweet Thing". This song became the first #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 #1 on the Billboard 200. This was Urban's first #1 CD. His past two albums debuted at #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'" will premiere October 2nd on CMT and CMT.com.
Keith Urban is now on tour called Escape Together(2009). He has many big name opening acts including Taylor Swift, Sugarland, and Jason Al dean. On June 27 Keith filmed a video for his new song, "Only You Can Love Me This Way", at the Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines, Iowa.
Starting in 1992, Urban dated veterinary technician Laura Sigler for eight years. Urban proposed to Sigler in 2001 but the pair eventually split in 2002.
Urban also was rumored to have been dating supermodel Niki Taylor on and off from 2002 to 2004.
Urban met Australian actress Nicole Kidman at G'Day LA, a Hollywood event honoring Australians, in January 2005 but they didn't begin dating until 6 months later. They were emailing each other back and forth, addressing each other as Hank (Keith) and Evie (Nicole). 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 Sydney. "Hank & Evie" is now on the tag on the back of the shirts Urban sells at his concerts.
On 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 Thing.
On Feb. 2, 2007, Urban filed a lawsuit against 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.
On 1 October 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.
On 7 January 2008, Nicole Kidman confirmed that she and Urban were expecting their first child together. Kidman's publicist said that "the couple are thrilled and cannot wait." A July due date was announced. Kidman gave birth to their first child, a daughter, Sunday Rose Kidman Urban, on July 7, 2008, in Nashville, Tennessee. She weighed 2.93 kg (6 lbs. 7.5 oz). On his website Keith 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."