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Keith Urban Biography

Last updated: 06/09/2012 11:00:00 AM

Keith Urban-photo
Keith says he learned to play guitar as a six-year-old in Australia, when a young woman wanted to place an ad in his dad's shop window offering guitar lessons. His parents made a deal with her that they would advertise in return for lessons for their young son. He had a natural ability and young Keith was winning talent shows by the time he was 8. He also was involved in a youth acting company which required him to sing, dance and memorize lines, all of which led to an ease on stage that would serve him well in his music career.

With a father who was deeply interested in American culture and country music, it was natural that Keith would gravitate towards country music early on, when he was influenced by the singing of Glen Campbell, Dolly Parton and Don Williams, and the songwriting of Jimmy Webb (Galveston). As a teenager already playing club gigs with a band, he became interested in the guitar playing of rock stars like Dire Straits' Mark Knopfler and Fleetwood Mac's Lindsey Buckingham, and after in-depth study of their techniques and endless practice, Keith brought those influences to his own music. The resulting unique style of blending country music with rock-style guitar (which he sometimes refers to as "funktry") brought him success in Australia, where he charted three #1 singles and had a successful solo album.

All along Keith knew that to be a real success in country music he would have to go to America. He made several trips to Nashville in the late '80s where he collaborated with such songwriters as Billboard "Songwriter of the Year" Gary Burr, multiple CMA-winner Trey Bruce, and Hall of Fame member Dave Loggins (Please Come to Boston, Pieces of April).

Soon he realized that the move to America would have to be permanent and headed to Nashville for good. Once there, with his Australian bandmate Peter Clarke, a drummer, he formed the three-piece band The Ranch. Their original bass player soon returned to Australia, but West Virginian Jerry Flowers quickly fit in as their new bass player. Their live shows featuring Keith's hot lead guitar playing led to a record deal with Capitol Nashville and a management contract with I.R.S. Records founder/The Police manager Miles Copeland, and their debut album, The Ranch, was released to critical acclaim in 1997.

By 1999, Keith released his self-titled solo album. His tour in support of that album included opening for such major acts as Dwight Yoakam, Faith Hill and Tim McGraw, as well as headlining his own shows. His stunning solo performances as an opening act won him numerous fans in the Yoakam/Hill/McGraw audiences, and his talent, hard work, countless interviews and openness and friendliness to his fans paid off with a Top 15 hit in It's a Love Thing and a Top 10 single with Your Everything.

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Keith Urban ROX!! | Reviewer: Elizabeth | 11/5/2007

Keith u r so awsome i love u!! u r my fav country or "funktry" singer!! i love all of your music!!!!!!! u rok keith!!!

What an awesome concert in Calgary!!!!!!!!! | Reviewer: Deloralie Brown | 9/19/2007

We saw Keith in a sold out Calgary concert last night!!! That was the noisiest I have ever heard at the Saddle Dome!! They were also filming for a live DVD in Calgary last night so it was great. He is a very humble and honest human being. You can tell that he was doing what he loves, singing to people. I knew the concert would be good, but it was GREAT!!!! He had the whole crowd on their feet for most of the concert, the energy was amazing. This was truly money well spent!!!!!!!!!!

#1 Keith Urban Freak | Reviewer: #1 KEITH URBAN FAN | 8/7/2007

keith urban is so amazing and talented. I love Keith! He is a great person and preformer. I mean, he has an awesome talent for preforming, and he has a rockin personality. What more could someone ask for? Nicole Kidman is SOOO lucky. I'm actually writing a biography on Keith Urban as we speak! I LOVE THIS DUDE!!!!!!!! love ya Keith!

in love with keith urban | Reviewer: Keith Urban Obsessed | 5/24/2007

keith urban is the most amazing talented HOTTEST celbrity in this ENTIRE world.
his songs mean soo much to me and omgg. isnt he just HOT?!.. i cant wait till he comes back to auzzie!. i love him!. im obsessed with him!

the Ranch sounds live | Reviewer: denise l. | 10/17/2005

I've seen Keith 8 times! The Ranch album is still my favorite because it sounds like he is playing live just for me! It's awesome. I love Keith and this record!

Keith Live in Concert | Reviewer: Barb | 6/15/2005

I recently saw Keith in Dublin twice supporting Bryan Adams, he was amazing...As a strictly loyal Adams fan -- Keith came a very close second....assuming nobody was familiar with his music....there was a brilliant atmostphere, great feedback from the crowd and everyone was asking around who is this guy...? have since bought the new album and it is excellent..I will def be going to see him in October..

Okay, you made me cry. | Reviewer: Anonymous | 6/4/2005

So I'm at work and someone else's country radio station is playing. Suddenly I'm hearing words that cut straight to my heart, and I'm crying my eyes out. I'm just hopin' it won't be only women who listen to "Memories of Us." Men, you should be taking notes. :)

Awesome | Reviewer: Lauren | 2/2/2005

Keith Urban is the most awesome man in the world! I wood totally marry him! lol he is an amazing, and talented person! luv ya keith!