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Keith Lionel Urban is a New Zealand born, Australian country music singer, songwriter and guitarist whose commercial success has been mainly in the United States and Australia. Urban was born in New Zealand and began his career in Brisbane having moved to Caboolture, Australia at an early age.
In 1991, he released a self-titled debut album, and charted four singles in Australia before moving to the United States in 1992. Eventually, Urban found work as a session guitarist before starting a band known as The Ranch, which recorded one studio album on Capitol Records and charted two singles on the Billboard country charts.
Still signed to Capitol, he made his solo American debut in 1999 with the album Keith Urban. Certified platinum in the U.S., it also produced his first American Number One in “But for the Grace of God”. His breakthrough hit was the Number One “Somebody Like You”, from his second Capitol album Golden Road (2002).
This album also earned Urban his first Grammy Award win for “You’ll Think of Me”, its fourth single and the third Billboard Number One of his career. 2004’s Be Here, his third American album, produced three more Number Ones, and became his highest-selling album, earning 4 Multi-Platinum certification.
Love, Pain & the Whole Crazy Thing was released in 2006, producing the record-setting #17 country chart debut of “Once in a Lifetime”, as well as Urban’s second Grammy for the song “Stupid Boy”, while a Greatest Hits package entitled Greatest Hits: 18 Kids followed in late 2007.
This album was re-released a year later as Greatest Hits: 19 Kids with one track added: the number one “You Look Good in My Shirt”, which he had previously recorded on Golden Road. Additional albums Defying Gravity and Get Closer were released on March 31, 2009 and November 16, 2010, respectively.
Urban has released a total of nine studio albums (one of which was released only in the United Kingdom), as well as one album in The Ranch. He has charted more than fifteen singles on the U.S. country charts, including ten Number Ones. Urban plays acoustic and electric guitar, as well as ganjo, bass guitar, mandolin, piano, sitar, bouzouki and drums.
In May 2010, Urban entered the studio to begin work on a new album. The recording process was documented in a blog on his official website. At the beginning of September, it was announced that the album would be titled Get Closer and would see release on November 16. At the same time, “Put You in a Song” was revealed to be the first single and was released digitally and to radio on September 13.
Keith Urban appeared at the 44th Annual Country Music Awards on November 10, 2010. To promote the new album, Keith played surprise concerts at New York City’s Penn Station as well as a train station in Philadelphia. The impromptu concerts included a 4-song set list mixing in new and old hits.
Urban recently announced that the lead single for his forthcoming 5th studio album will be titled “Sweet Thing”. This song became the first #1 single off the album. The song was co-written with Monty Powell, who wrote some of Urban’s past hits, and co-produced with his longtime producer Dann Huff. The album, Defying Gravity, was released on 31 March 2009, through Capitol Records. Its second single, “Kiss a Girl”, debuted in March 2009.
Urban performed this song on American Idol, during the season 8 finale, as a duet with eventual winner Kris Allen. Its third single, “Only You Can Love Me This Way”, is another chart-topping song, co-written by Steve McEwan and John Reid. Defying Gravity debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200. This was Urban’s first #1 CD. His past two albums debuted at #3.
Keith Urban has received four nominations on the 2009 CMA Awards, including Entertainer Of The Year and Male Vocalist Of The Year for a fourth consecutive year in a row. He also earned a nomination for Album Of The Year for Defying Gravity and shares a nomination with Brad Paisley for Music Video Of The Year for “Start A Band”.