Keith Urban

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About Keith Urban

In an interview with Apple Music, country-pop songwriter Keith Urban outlined the two forces that came together to influence his songwriting. The first is Johnny Cash. “That was my first concert,” Urban said about The Man in Black. “It was unlike anything I’d seen. It wasn’t country, it wasn’t rock, it wasn’t punk—it was all of them.” The second is Top 40: “hooky songs, man.” Urban’s life is similarly defined by such duality. Born in 1967 in New Zealand and raised in Australia, Urban was a bona fide outsider when he moved to Nashville in the early ‘90s. But by the end of the decade, his self-titled 1999 album had set him on the path to stardom. While the great country music argument tends to pit traditionalism against evolution, Urban embraced both—mixing drum loops and steel guitar, marrying twang and pop—and transcended the conversation, generating a mass appeal that courted fans of both. This crossover combination resulted in a slew of platinum records, hit singles, and stadium tours, and collaborations with artists like Pitbull and Carrie Underwood. In 2012, Urban became a member of storied Nashville institution the Grand Ole Opry upon surprise invitation from fellow country icon Vince Gill, a full-circle moment that recognized his contributions to the genre he helped push into new sonic territory.

Whangarei, New Zealand
October 26, 1967
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