Keith Urban Says He’d Be ‘In Jail’ If He Hadn’t Gone Into Music
Keith Urban reviewed the turbulent early years of his career, as well as some of the pivotal moments in his journey toward musical success, in a recent appearance on Criss Angel's Talking Junkies podcast.
Most fans know that Urban -- who was born in New Zealand and raised in Australia -- expressed an early interest in music, and particularly, in playing guitar. He rose up the ranks in the Australian music scene in the 1980s, but it was always his dream to move to Nashville, which he did in 1992.
It's also no secret that Urban's journey to stardom has been difficult. He had to work his way up the ladder of the music industry not once but twice -- once in Australia, then again in the U.S. -- and he has also struggled with cocaine and alcohol addiction, undergoing rehab stays in the '90s and mid-2000s.
His path in music might have been rocky, but if you ask the singer, he'll tell you that it was his only option. "I'd be in jail, probably," Urban says with a laugh, when asked what he'd be doing with his life if music wasn't an option.
Urban also pointed to the exact "aha" moment in 1988 when he realized that he didn't have to choose between his rock and country influences -- a question he struggled with early on in his career.
"I love John Mellencamp. Huge John Mellencamp fan. And he did a record called Lonesome Jubilee," Urban recounts. "Prior to that, he'd had Hurts So Good, more straight rock, and then through Scarecrow he brings in some fiddles and a few little organic things. Then he does Lonesome Jubilee and he's got accordion, fiddle, acoustic guitars, but he's got this rock rhythm section still.
"It was the collision of all these things that, prior to going to that concert that night, I'd been like 'Man, am I country or am I rock? I don't know what I am, what I'm supposed to be doing,'" Urban continues. "I went to that concert. He walked out onstage. The band was phenomenal. And I saw and heard all that fusion and it was literally like a light went off. I was like, 'I get it. Don't think about genre or anything. Just...pull all the things you love, your soup, man, your gumbo, and make your gumbo.'"
Though Urban's clearly dedicated to his career as a country singer, he does have a few hobbies in the can just in case he ever decides on an early retirement. For example, he and his wife Nicole Kidman have been known to enjoy bowling together.
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Gallery Credit: Sterling Whitaker