Keith Urban

Posted in MusicWorld on August 31, 2000 by

He’s been accused of being a romantic. ("There are worse things," he replies.) He’s an introspective man and songwriter. ("The Muse doesn’t like to be pressured.") He’s known from the age of seven that he’d one day make it to Nashville.

(He moved here from his native Australia in 1992.) He’s widely acknowledged as one of the hottest pickers in a town full of them, not only wowing his audience on sizzling guitar, but also on a funky guitar/banjo hybrid called a ganjo. And he’s said he feels responsible, in part, for keeping country "cool."

It’s Keith Urban, of course –romantic, self-aware, funky country star-on-the-rise – fulfilling that self-appointed destiny.

Urban got his first record deal in Australia at age 20 and had four number ones there before making his move to Music City. He knew he’d have to start over, and he did. But talent like his gets noticed; he started turning heads immediately with that Johnny Cash-meets-Mark Knopfler-meets-Stevie J-and-Babyface hybrid style. Signed to Capitol Nashville in 1997, Urban debuted as front man of the critically acclaimed trio the Ranch. With his second Capitol outing, keith urban, he emerged victorious as a solo artist when his self-penned debut single, "It’s a Love Thing," made the top 15. His second release, "Your Everything," became his first top five single, and made him the first Australian male to ever break into the U.S. top 10.

Keith Urban has come a long way, literally and figuratively. About his hard-won success, Urban says, simply, coolly, "It just feels . . . very right."