Keith Urban is a country music superstar in the United States. But in his home country of Australia he was more well-known as “Nicole Kidman’s husband,” until his recent stint as a coach on Australia’s version of The Voice made him a household name. He’s on the cover of GQ Australia this month and talked about finding his own voice at home.
“The best thing about it has been the chance for people in Australia to get to know me,” Keith said. “My music doesn’t really get played here despite it having a lot of appeal elsewhere, so I’ve found myself without an outlet for my songs because of various narrow stereotypes and perceptions about me. That’s been a challenge. But The Voice has offered an opportunity to connect in a different way and I hope now people check out the gigs because that’s the real show for me.”
Keith was close to turning down The Voice in favor of touring, but Nicole helped change his mind. “I wasn’t sure I had the time,” he said. “May through to July is summer in the US and prime touring time. Nor had I got big into the whole Voice concept. But Nic had been watching the overseas versions and loving them, so when the offer came for an Australian version it was her who said: ‘I think this might be a good thing for you.’”
The chance to be a mentor was what ultimately led him to sign on, he told the magazine.
“Trust is such a valuable commodity in this business,” he said. “I’m still incredibly wary of many things and many people. That’s why I thought if I can offer tiny yet crucial bits of advice and guidance or direction on how to dodge the bullets I danced with, it could make all the difference.”
Keith also credits Nicole for helping him tune out his negative thoughts. He refers to them as ‘shine-blockers’ and relies on her cues to let him know when he’s going too far.
“I shine-block myself all the time,” he admitted. “Negativity and doubt are always creeping into my life and having to be kept at bay. Thankfully, Nic is great at calling me on it, and our marriage is at the stage where she doesn’t have to say anything. I hear myself prattling on with negative crap and her loaded silence shuts me up.”