Keith Urban has never been shy about his successful recovery from an addiction to drugs and alcohol, but that doesn’t mean he really wants to talk about it, either. The 54-year-old knows he can no longer imbibe, in any capacity, but nor is he necessarily ready to be the poster child for sobriety.
“My dad was an alcoholic, so I grew up in an alcoholic house and it took me a long time to believe I was wired the same,” Urban reveals to UK’s The Times. “I don’t talk a lot about it because I love my audience being able to just come and have a great time. I’ve nothing against drugs or alcohol. Everyone does what they want to do to have a great time. I just realized I’m allergic to it. Someone said, ‘You have an allergy? What happens when you drink?’ And I said, ‘I break out in cuffs.'”
Urban had a few unsuccessful bouts with rehab, before entering the Betty Ford clinic in 2006, mere months after marrying his wife, actress Nicole Kidman. The Aussie emerged a different, and better, version of himself, a fact that was pleasantly surprising to him.
“I had to find a different way to be in the world,” Urban concedes. “I’m glad it didn’t change anything about my music. I wrote plenty of hit songs while drunk. I wrote plenty sober. I feel lucky it hasn’t defined my creativity.”
The Grand Ole Opry member has packed out arenas all over the globe, and sold millions and millions of albums, but calls his successful marriage and his sobriety among his greatest achievements.
“Marrying the right person [was] massive,” Urban told Reba McEntire, on her Living & Learning with Reba McEntire podcast (via People).”Marrying for the right reasons, getting sober 15 years ago was a big turning point in my life.”
The father of two is well aware of how connected his relationship with Kidman is to his sobriety.
“She’s just the one, that was it,” Urban said on Dax Shepard’s Armchair Expert podcast. “She’s the one that I was searching for my whole life, and everything not only changed but had to change in me if I was going to go that road. It felt like an ultimate fork in the road moment in my life. It was literally like, ‘You either get this right now, or you are never, ever going to get it right. This is your one shot.’ Really, it felt so obvious.”
“I knew where I was going, and I was going into the light, finally,” he added. “It was everything I was looking for and then some. Beyond, just beyond.”
Urban just released “Nightfalls” from a new album. He is currently on his international The Speel of Now World Tour. He was also recently announced as one of the headliners for the upcoming CMA Fest, along with Jason Aldean, Kelsea Ballerini, Gabby Barrett, Dierks Bentley, Kane Brown, Luke Bryan, Luke Combs, Russell Dickerson, Alan Jackson, Lady A, Parker McCollum, Carly Pearce, Thomas Rhett, Darius Rucker, Cole Swindell, Carrie Underwood, Lainey Wilson, and the Zac Brown Band
. Find a list of all of Urban’s upcoming shows, as well as purchase his music, at KeithUrban.com.