Keith Lionel Urban (born 26 October 1967) is a New Zealand-born Australian-American singer, songwriter, and record producer. In 1991, he released a self-titled debut album, charting four singles in Australia before moving to the United States the following year. He found work as a session guitarist before starting a band known as The Ranch, which recorded one studio album on Capitol Nashville and charted two singles on the US Billboard Hot Country Songs chart.
Still signed to Capitol, Urban made his solo American debut in 1999 with a second eponymous album. Certified platinum in the US by the RIAA, it produced his first number one on the Hot Country Songs chart with «But for the Grace of God». «Somebody Like You», the first single from his second Capitol album Golden Road (2002), was named by Billboard as the biggest country hit of the 2000s decade. The album’s fourth single, «You’ll Think of Me», earned him his first Grammy Award. 2004’s Be Here, his third American album became his highest-selling album, being certified 4× Platinum. Love, Pain & the Whole Crazy Thing was released in 2006, containing «Once in a Lifetime» as well as his second Grammy Award-winning song, «Stupid Boy». A greatest hits package titled Greatest Hits: 18 Kids followed in late 2007. Defying Gravity and Get Closer were released on 31 March 2009 and 16 November 2010, respectively. In September 2013, he released the album Fuse, which produced four more number ones on the Country Airplay chart. «John Cougar, John Deere, John 3:16» was released in June 2015 as the lead single of his eighth American studio album, Ripcord. The album later produced the Country Airplay chart number-one hits «Break on Me», «Wasted Time», and «Blue Ain’t Your Color», with the latter also becoming Urban’s longest-reigning number one on the Hot Country Songs chart, spending 12 weeks atop the chart. His tenth album, Graffiti U, was released in 2018 and includes the Top 10 hit «Coming Home». His eleventh album The Speed of Now Part 1 was released in 2020 and includes the global hit «One Too Many» with Pink, in addition to Country Airplay top ten hits «We Were» and «God Whispered Your Name».
Urban has released a total of eleven studio albums (one of which was released only in Australia), as well as one album with The Ranch. He has charted 37 singles on the US Hot Country Songs chart, 18 of which went to number one, counting a duet with Brad Paisley («Start a Band») and the 2008 single «You Look Good in My Shirt», which he previously recorded on Golden Road. Those also include his third Grammy Award-winning single «Sweet Thing» from his album Defying Gravity.
Urban is also known for his role as a coach on the Australian version of the singing competition The Voice and as a judge on American Idol. In October 2013, Urban introduced his own signature line of guitars and accessories.
While living in Nashville, Urban frequently used cocaine. After reaching a personal low point in 1998, he became determined to stop using the drug and checked into Cumberland Heights, a treatment centre in Nashville.
Urban met Australian actress Nicole Kidman at G’Day LA, a Hollywood event promoting Australia, in January 2005, and they began dating six months later. They married on 25 June 2006 at the Cardinal Cerretti Memorial Chapel in the grounds of St Patrick’s Estate, Manly, in Sydney.
On 19 October 2006, Urban checked into the Betty Ford Center in California. On 20 October, he 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 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 website called KeithUrban.com. The singer wanted to acquire the rights to the URL. The painter counter-sued. The lawsuit was settled in the painter’s favour.
On 1 October 2007, Urban skidded off his motorbike when a paparazzo followed him near his home in Sydney. He was not hurt. In a statement released by his publicists, Urban said that the incident was «the result of one person’s desire to do his job and my desire to maintain my privacy». Urban said that he tried to avoid an oncoming car and dropped his bike. He said the photographer came to his assistance without taking photos.
On 7 January 2008, Kidman said she and Urban were expecting their first child together. Kidman’s publicist said, «the couple are thrilled and cannot wait». Kidman gave birth to a daughter in 2008 in Nashville, Tennessee. On his website, Urban said:
«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, very blessed and grateful that we can share this joy with all of my loving fans today.»
In 2010, Urban and Kidman had a second daughter, Faith Margaret Kidman Urban, by surrogate at Nashville’s Centennial Women’s Hospital.
Urban is a citizen of New Zealand, his place of birth, as well as a citizen of both Australia and the United States.