Keith Urban on How He Quit Partying to Protect Marriage With Nicole Kidman: ‘Life Is Very Different Nowadays’

by TK Sanders

Country music star Keith Urban does not shy away from his past, evidenced most recently by a new interview where he credits wife Nicole Kidman for saving their marriage.

Urban, 54, has spoken extensively about his alcohol abuse over the years, struggles which culminated in a 2006 rehab stint just months after his marriage to Kidman. Looking back on a life of fame, fortune, and frenzy, Urban happily admits that life feels very “different” nearly two decades later.

“I’d like to stay married!” Urban told The Sun, as reported by Daily Mail. “Night-time me hates daytime me, it’s so true. But the next morning night-time me is nowhere to be found — he’s totally unaccountable,” he elaborated, referencing the mental stability that sobriety provided him.

“Life is very different nowadays. I’m trying to set a good example for the kids. But I still don’t know if I’m getting it right,” Urban, father of Sunday, 13, and Faith, 11, said. “I have made so many mistakes, but you have to work out what works for you. My message to them is to always do whatever they are passionate about, I don’t care, as long as they work hard to achieve it.”

Urban also said that focusing on passion projects like his music help him avoid alcohol. But ultimately, the onus of responsibility falls squarely on himself, because he realizes how fortunate he is to have his family and friends — and how he close he came to losing it all. Urban elaborated in a Rolling Stone interview back in 2016, saying that he felt “lucky” to still be married to Kidman, who intervened in his life just one year into their marriage.

Keith Urban writes love songs about Nicole Kidman that he did not know how to write as a drinker

“I was very, very blessed to have Nic call an intervention on me,” Keith said, explaining that his behavior “caused the implosion of my fresh marriage.”

Kidman was working in Rome as Urban spiraled. But she flew back to the States and rounded up his friends to stage an intervention.

“The love in that room in that moment was just right,” Keith said. “To see love in action in that way… I’d never experienced anything like that before.”

Urban even admitted that because of his alcoholism, most of his songs about love prior to meeting Nicole came from a place of fantasy, not reality.

“I would write these songs about love and relationships; I remember writing ‘Somebody Like You’ and playing it for my girlfriend at the time. And she just looked at me and said, ‘You’re a f**king hypocrite,’ and I couldn’t argue that,” he said.

And as for regrets? Urban said he only has one: not sobering up sooner.

“I wish I’d gotten sober many years earlier than I did, but it is what it is,” he said. “I knew I wasn’t at my full potential. And that’s what was starting to get to me. I was enslaved… I was living a very, very small life.”