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Keith Urban Biography

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Keith Lionel Urban, born 26 October 1967, is a New Zealander-Australian country music singer.

Keith Lionel Urban was born in Whangarei, North Island, New Zealand. Before he turned two years old his family moved to Australia. By age seven, Urban was already thinking about emigrating to America and making his mark in Nashville. Urban began learning guitar at age six and began winning talent contests by age eight. By twelve he was booking his band in local clubs, and at fifteen 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 to pursue the largest country music market in the world. Originally the front man for The Ranch, a three-piece group that released one album in 1997 to critical acclaim, Urban disbanded the group to pursue a solo career.

In the late 90's Urban battled cocaine addiction. 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 2000 which produced three top 5 hits and secured for him the Top New Male Vocalist Award at the 2001 Academy of Country Music Awards. Urban, widely regarded for his guitar skills, has performed as a session musician on albums such as Garth Brooks' Double Live and the Dixie Chicks' Fly.

In a bid for publicity, Keith appeared semi-nude in photos accompanying an interview for Playgirl magazine and on the cover of the April 2001 issue. This became the magazine's readers' most requested issue.

Urban 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. Three other singles were released, two went to No. 1 and the third was No. 3. The album went platinum in every country where it has been released and is triple platinum in the United States. In 2004 Be Here was released and nominated for best country album at the Grammy Awards and at the Academy of Country Music Awards. Out of the five singles released from Be Here, three went No. 1, and two fell just shy of that mark to land at No. 2. In 2006 the album went triple platinum in the U.S. Urban has also released Days Go By, a greatest hits collection, in Europe. With a career total of 13 singles released, seven singles went to No. 1, two went to No.2, two went to No.3, one went to No. 4, and one went to No.18.

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 Keith Urban's first headlining arena tour titled Keith Urban Be Here '04. Urban continued his meteoric rise to fame in 2005 with a very successful tour with Katrina 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. Also, he was recently named the 2005 CMA's Entertainer of the Year. He released a DVD in late September entitled Livin' Right Now, recorded in California on December 2004. 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 gave two performances when he performed "Tonight I Wanna Cry" and played guitar for Brooks & Dunn's song "Believe."

On Monday, August 21, 2006, Keith made history when his new single "Once in a Lifetime" became the highest-debuting country single (#17) in the 62-year history of Billboard's country charts. The record was formerly held by Garth Brooks "Good Ride Cowboy", which debuted at #18 and Eddie Rabbitt's "Every Which Way But Loose". "Good Ride Cowboy" was the highest in the BDS era (1991-present).

On 19 October 2006 Urban checked himself into a rehabilitation center for alcohol abuse. He issued a press release about addressing his challenge, noting his gratitude for the "support and the unwavering strength of my wife, family and friends" and adding that he felt "calm and optimistic about the future and with finally coming to terms with the reality of my condition." Due to this fact, he had cancelled his appearances on Rove Live and the 2006 ARIA Awards.

On November 6, 2006, Urban won Male Vocalist of the Year at the 2006 CMA Awards, but due to his rehab stint had to accept his award by letter.

In 1992, Urban dated veterinary technician Laura Sigler. The pair shared an on and off relationship for eight years, and after proposing to Sigler in 2001, the pair broke up in 2002.

After Urban and Sigler broke up, Urban dated former supermodel Niki Taylor. The pair dated on and off for three years until they broke up in 2005.

Urban and Nicole Kidman met in January 2005 and were later married in Sydney, on June 25th, 2006.
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