When you think of celebrities from Down Under, a few names come to mind. And Keith Urban is always one of them. One of the most popular voices in country music, the 51-year old New Zealand native has had an incredible ride throughout his career. And no, I'm not even going to address his iconic haircut. We all know it's a signature look.
Ever since the country star was named Top New Male Vocalist at the 2001 ACM Awards, Urban has been cranking out nonstop successful albums and singles. "Blue Ain't Your Color", "We Were Us" (with Miranda Lambert), "Somebody Like You" and "The Fighter" (with Carrie Underwood) are just a few of his numerous hits over the years.
He's the 2019 ACM Awards Entertainer of the Year, multi-Grammy award winner, father of two and American Idol judge. Is there anything the man can't do? Here are nine things you probably didn't know about our beloved Keith Urban.
1. He started as a touring guitarist
When Urban first came over to kick off his career in America, he needed to get a job in music to be able to stay in the country. He had already made a name for himself in his home country as an incredible guitar player so it wasn't long before he started touring with some of the greats; Brooks & Dunn, the Dixie Chicks, and Alan Jackson included.
2. He competed on a singing competition show
Before his own stint as a judge on American Idol, Urban competed on Australian talent show New Faces. He didn't win, but it undoubtedly gave him a strong stage presence that he used to his advantage later in his career. Anyone who's ever seen him perform live knows what a treat that is.
3. Nicole Kidman helped him clean up his act
Just like Faith Hill and Tim McGraw, Kidman and Urban are a country couple everyone roots for. Following his marriage to the actress, Kidman helped him go to rehab for the cocaine problem he had developed on the Nashville music scene. After coming home, he's remained sober to this day.
"I was spiritually awoken with her," Urban told Rolling Stone in a 2016 interview. "I use the expression 'I was born into her,' and that's how I feel. And for the first time in my life, I could shake off the shackles of addiction."
He also helped Kidman believe in love again after her divorce from Tom Cruise. They really helped each other, making their love story one for the books.
4. He owns over 100 guitars
"You need a certain guitar for something, so you find one," Urban told The Late Show with Seth Meyers. "I find a lot of guitars on eBay... I don't collect them, but I end up with a bunch of them."
Over 100 is way more than a bunch but sure. Urban lost some of his guitars in the 2010 Nashville flood, but he has more than made up for that loss with this massive collection.
5. He posed for Playgirl
Though he regrets it now, I don't think anyone else is sad about his decision to pose with nothing but a guitar and a thong.
"I wasn't embarrassed at the time, but obviously in hindsight, no pun intended, I wish I hadn't done it," Urban said.
6. He's a high school drop out
At the young age of 15, Urban decided that he was over it and wanted to pursue music.
7. His first Nashville band was called The Ranch
Two songs from The Ranch charted on the country music Billboard charts. But the band broke up after just one studio album to pursue solo projects. Bassist Jerry Flowers went on to tour with some other big names before rejoining with Urban for his first headlining tour in 2004. He's been part of his band ever since. He even helped write "House Party" for Sam Hunt.
8. His first Grand Ole Opry appearance was backing another singer
Between 1993 and 1994 Urban toured as a backup singer for Slim Dusty, an Australian country singer (no, Urban isn't the only one!). On April 21, 2012, Urban became a member of the prestigious Opry, nearly 20 years later.
9. He lost a lawsuit for KeithUrban.com
Hilariously, there is a painter named Keith Urban in New Jersey who snagged the coveted .com rights before the singer. Urban tried to sue him and lost. So now, you have to go to KeithUrban.net to access news and fan club information.