Keith Urban Opens Up for the First Time
Raised in Queensland, Australia, Keith's passion for music started early on. When he was just 6 years old, Keith picked up his first guitar—and the rest is music history. Keith scored four number one hits in Australia before taking his act to Nashville in 1992. To date, Keith has had 11 number one hits, won three Grammys® and snagged every award country music has to offer.
In 2005, Keith was busy performing for his devoted fans and writing music when he found love. He married fellow Aussie Nicole Kidman, an Oscar®-winning actress, the following year.
His latest album, Get Closer, is a musical love letter to Nicole, the mother of his daughter, Sunday Rose. "I didn't even know I was such a big fan until I listened to that CD, Get Closer. That is something," Oprah says. "I can feel your heart in every song."
Watch Keith perform "Put You in a Song."
Keith says it was a joy to make the record. "I think the most enjoyable record I've ever made," he says. "Things have lined up, absolutely. [This is] the best place I've ever been."
"What was different about this time?" Oprah asks.
"Love," Keith says.
At the time, Keith says he knew that if he didn't surrender and commit to overcoming his addiction, he'd repeat past mistakes. "[I thought], 'So maybe if I really want to be courageous and adventurous, let's take the road less traveled this time,'" he says. "It was a huge hole in my life that was going to be filled by the right thing eventually, or it was always going to be filled by the wrong thing."
At first, Keith says he questioned whether he should go to rehab so soon after getting married. "[I thought], 'Surely let's give it a few years so we've got some solidity, because this kind of thing could tear us apart,'" Keith says. "'This could just destroy us.'"
Ultimately, he decided it was time to get help. Keith left the same night as the intervention for treatment. "I just said, 'I don't want to do anything but go,'" he says. "I didn't care about anything else."
Loving himself, he realized, would also help him love others. "If I don't have it, I can't give it away," Keith says. "I look back now and realize Nic has taught me so much and brought so much into my life and opened my eyes in so many ways."
Early in his relationship with Nicole, Keith says they went to a park. While sitting on a bench, he says he asked her, "How's your heart?"
"I didn't know why I asked that question," Keith says. "I'd never asked anybody that before. I don't know what answer I was expecting."
She answered, "It's open."
"It was not only beautiful because it said so much about her, but it instantly made me ask myself: 'Is mine? Is my heart open?'" Keith says. "'Or is it 80 percent open, but I've got a little exit strategy? If I do, then why is that?'"
As anyone who's ever loved and lost knows, once you've had your heart broken, it's hard to love again. For this reason, Keith says he was scared. "I looked back and realized that I stayed in this pattern because I wasn't really loving," he says. "I hadn't met the right person. I wasn't the right person, but I wasn't really giving myself fully. I was holding back because I was scared."
For Oprah, spirituality means that when you have an open heart, you're open to receive all the abundance that the higher power—God and grace—has to offer to you.
"Absolutely," Keith says.
When Keith saw Nicole standing alone for a moment, he gathered up the nerve to say hello. "I plucked up the courage to go and do it, very nervously, and trying to be all cool," he says. "[I] introduced myself and she was very pleasant and everything, and there was that moment of waiting for the next thing to be said—of which I didn't know if I was bothering her or what was going on—so I just sort of said, 'Well, nice to meet you' and I just walked away."
Later, a friend convinced Keith to try talking to her again. "I went back over and apologized, and we just started talking and just really clicked," Keith says.
After Nicole found out Keith struggled with addiction, he says he would have understood if she left...but she didn't.
Inside the cover of Keith's latest CD, he wrote a beautiful love letter to his wife, the woman who stood by his side. It reads:
"Nicole Mary—I continue to be brought to my knees by this love of ours... I am in awe of how this blessed family we are creating stretches and fearlessly opens my vulnerable heart...and I just want to be a better man, for you, and father for our heavenly Sunday Rose and have you go to sleep every night knowing that no one has ever, or will ever, love you as much as I do...and all we need is faith."
"I think that's why the music sounded even better to me," Oprah says. "Because it came from that space."
More from the show
Watch Keith perform "Put You in a Song"
What Keith had to say after the show
See Keith's backstage performance of "Shut Out the Lights"