COUNTRY music sTARS
COUNTRY music sTARS
COUNTRY music sTARS
Mason Crest MIAMI • MINNEAPOLIS
Mason Crest PO Box 221876, Hollywood, FL 33022 (866) MCP-BOOK (toll free) www.masoncrest.com
Copyright © 2023 by Mason Crest, an imprint of National Highlights, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, taping, or any information storage and retrieval system, without permission from the publisher.
First printing 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 ISBN (hardback) 978-1-4222-4489-0 ISBN (series) 978-1-4222-4486-9 ISBN (ebook) 978-1-4222-7324-1
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Names: Bach, Greg, author. Title: Keith Urban / Greg Bach. Description: Broomall : Mason Crest, 2023. | Series: Country music stars | Includes bibliographical references and index. Identifiers: LCCN 2019058635 | ISBN 9781422244890 (hardback) | ISBN 9781422273241 (ebook) Subjects: LCSH: Urban, Keith, 1967–Juvenile literature. | Country musicians–Australia– Biography–Juvenile literature. | Singers–Australia–Biography–Juvenile literature. | Country musicians–United States–Biography–Juvenile literature. | Singers–United States–Biography–Juvenile literature. Classification: LCC ML3930.U83 B33 2021 | DDC 782.421642092 [B]–dc23 LC record available at https://lccn.loc.gov/2019058635
Developed and Produced by National Highlights, Inc. Editor: Andrew Luke Production: Crafted Content, LLC
Contents BREAKTHROUGH ������������������������������������������������������������������ 6 CHAPTER 1: A STAR IS BORN �����������������������������������������������������11 CHAPTER 2: GREATEST MOMENTS ����������������������������������������������25 CHAPTER 3: BEHIND THE CURTAIN ���������������������������������������������39 CHAPTER 4: BRAND KEITH URBAN ��������������������������������������������� 51 CHAPTER 5: MODERN MEGASTAR ������������������������������������������������65 SERIES GLOSSARY OF KEY TERMS ���������������������������������������������76 FURTHER READING ����������������������������������������������������������������77 INTERNET RESOURCES ������������������������������������������������������������77 INDEX �������������������������������������������������������������������������������78 AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY, PHOTO CREDITS & EDUCATIONAL VIDEO LINKS ������80
Key Icons to Look For
WORDS TO UNDERSTAND: These words, with their easy-to-understand definitions, will increase readers’ understanding of the text while building vocabulary skills.
EDUCATIONAL VIDEOS: Readers can view videos by scanning our QR codes, providing themwith additional educational content to supplement the text. SIDEBARS: This boxed material within the main text allows readers to build knowledge, gain insights, explore possibilities, and broaden their perspectives by weaving together additional information to provide realistic and holistic perspectives.
TEXT-DEPENDENT QUESTIONS: These questions send the reader back to the text for more careful attention to the evidence presented there.
RESEARCH PROJECTS: Readers are pointed toward areas of further inquiry connected to each chapter. Suggestions are provided for projects that encourage deeper research and analysis. SERIES GLOSSARY OF KEY TERMS: This back-of-the-book glossary contains terminology used throughout this series.Words found here increase the reader’s ability to read and comprehend higher-level books and articles in this field.
WORDS TO UNDERSTAND arduous —hard to accomplish or achieve; difficult burgeoning —growing or increasing rapidly; developing nuance —a distinction or variation that is difficult to perceive revere —feel deep respect or admiration for (something) tabbed —singled out; designated
BELOVED PERFORMER The release of “Your Everything” in 2000 put in motion one of the great country music careers of this era, as Keith Urban has been on a hit-producing binge ever since. A year after “Your Everything” reached the airwaves and put an exclamation point on Urban’s long and arduous journey to Nashville, he was handed the Country Music Association’s (CMA) prestigious Horizon Award. Now known as the NewArtist of theYear award, his name was added to the impressive list of past recipients, includingTaylor Swift, Luke Combs, Carrie Underwood, Garth Brooks, and Brad Paisley. Urban also scooped up the Top New MaleVocalist award at the Academy of Country Music Awards and then charged into the studio to knock out his second U.S. album Golden Road . A masterful collection, it featured four singles that all landed in theTop 10 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart. Among the quartet of hits was the acclaimed single “Somebody LikeYou” that spent 6 weeks at the top of the charts and years later was named the No. 1 country song of the first decade of the 21st century by Billboard . Urban’s second decade in the Nashville spotlight has been just as dazzling and impressive as the first. Along with his string of platinum albums, his concerts have become must-see events across the globe. Urban’s Graffiti UWorldTour, his 12th headlining concert tour, wrapped up in 2019 after playing more than 70 dates that attracted more than half a million fans. He has certainly come a long way to make his dreams of stardom come true. A STAR IS BORN
a star is born
Urban was a latecomer to Nashville, but he is now a country music icon and global superstar.
LIFE-CHANGING LESSONS Urban was born on October 26, 1967, inWhangarei, New Zealand, the youngest of Bob and Marienne Urban’s two sons, and when he was two years old the family moved to Caboolture, Queensland, Australia. He became fascinated by music at an early age, fueled by his dad’s collection of country music albums that included Johnny Cash, Glen Campbell, and DonWilliams, among many other legendary performers. Urban’s dad, watching his son’s eyes sparkle when the music played, posted an ad for a guitar teacher in the window of the convenience store he owned. That ad would forever alter young Urban’s life. “It felt so right in my hands. My mum and dad bought (the guitar) for me, I remember it so clearly. I was lucky to have parents who recognized my passion for music early on. I was committed to playing.” By age six Urban was taking lessons with an instructor named Sue McCarthy, savoring the sessions and loving every pluck of the strings. Playing the instrument came naturally to Urban, and he picked up skills quickly. Soon he was good enough to take part in local competitions. He also gained some other stage experience too by acting with a theater company, which would come in handy later in his career.
“I feel really lucky that I had a great guitar teacher that just taught me basic chords so I could play songs. I didn’t want to learn theory or how to read music, I didn’t want to get overwhelmed by that.”
a star is born
Keith Urban performs “Coming Home” on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.
GREAT GUITARISTS As Urban learned the nuances of guitar playing, two of his idols along the learning path were legendary musicians Mark Knopfler and Lindsey Buckingham. Knopfler was the lead guitarist for the rock band Dire Straits that he founded with his brother, while Buckingham played lead guitar for Fleetwood Mac. As a teenager Urban was good enough to land a spot on a talent show called New Faces that was televised in Australia. Contestants competed in heats, judging was done by various Australian celebrities, and the winners of each round kept advancing. Besides giving Urban’s dreams a boost, the program turned out to help launch the acting career of Paul Hogan, who would go on to win the Golden Globe Award for Best Actor in a Motion Picture Musical or Comedy for his performance as Michael “Crocodile” Dundee in the 1986 movie Crocodile Dundee .
Both Urban and actor Paul Hogan used AustralianTV talent show New Faces as a career launching pad.
a star is born
ON THE ROAD TO RECOGNITION
Doors soon began opening for Urban to appear on other shows around the country, as well as at festivals and clubs. He and his partner JennyWilson won a prestigious Golden Guitar award at the annual Tamworth Country Music Festival, which provided huge exposure as the 10-day Australian event is widely regarded as one of the top 10 country music festivals in the world. The performance was another big moment in the teen’s rise, as the Golden Guitar is the only industry-affiliated country music award in Australia. Urban also played and sang in a band called Kids Country that snagged some airtime on television programs and performed at local venues. Urban put a lot of effort into his onstage appearances too. His dad stressed the importance of looking like a performer early on, and Urban found it rewarding, striving to win awards when they were handed out for best dressed contestants.
MEDLEY MASH-UP: FOREVER COUNTRY
Keith Urban was one of 30 music greats chosen to perform a special medley in celebration of the 50th Annual CMA Awards. Among those who participated were Dolly Parton, Blake Shelton, Willie Nelson, and Miranda Lambert. They performed three of country’s most well-known songs: John Denver’s “Take Me Home, Country Roads,”Willie Nelson’s “On the Road Again,” and Dolly Parton’s “I Will Always LoveYou.” The stars traded lines on the three hit tunes in a unique mash-up of medleys, with Urban’s lyrics delivered while surrounded by flowers with a mountain looming in the background, thanks to the magical video work of the producers.
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