Keith Urban Reveals the ‘First’ Country Superstar in Nashville Who Supported Him

by Blake Ells

Keith Urban has been a Nashville fixture for so long, it’s easy to forget that there was a Nashville before his arrival. But like every budding young country artist, the “Brown Eyes Baby” singer arrived just looking for an opportunity. And to get those opportunities, aspiring stars have to rely on seasoned veterans to hold open some doors. Now, Keith Urban is reflecting on the folks that helped him carve his own path.

Taste of Country caught up with Keith Urban for a chat and asked him who was good to him when he was just getting started.

“Kix Brooks, hands down, top of the list,” he told Taste of Country of the Brooks & Dunn founder. “I’ve been very fortunate to have lots of headline acts be very good to me over my support act years. Kenny Chesney being another one who was great to me. But Kix I always think of, because he was certainly the first in Nashville who really went above and beyond in believing what I was doing and supporting us.”

Kix Brooks Shows Up to a Club to See Keith Urban

He went on to talk about the days that he was playing in a small, unknown band around the Music City.

“I was in a band called The Ranch at the time,” Keith Urban continued. “He would come out to see us play and he came out this one night – I think the very first time he saw us play – he came out to this dingy little club we were playing and he had just been at some highfalutin black tie event with his wife, Barbara, and they decided to swing by this club on their way home and they walked in dressed to the nines in this complete down-trodden, beer soaked, shag-carpeted place. And there was no seating there, it was tiny. It was full of people. He found a seat for Barbara and there was none for him, so he just came and sat on the filthy carpet in his nice suit right at the front of the stage.”

Keith Urban isn’t playing dingy clubs anymore. He’s currently coast-to-coast in support of Speed of Now Part 1. Nowadays, it’s mostly sheds and arenas for the 54-year-old. Next up is Wal-Mart Amphitheater in Rogers, Ark. on August 18. He’ll squeeze in a date at the Iowa State Fair on August 20 before returning to his own tour. Ingrid Andress has been providing support the entire time. When the tour hits Denver on September 16, Tyler Hubbard from Florida-Georgia Line hops on to support, too.

The North American tour continues until November, with a big homecoming stop in Nashville at Bridgestone Arena on October 7. Both Andress and Hubbard are also on the bill. He heads to Australia for a bunch of dates in December. To see all of Keith Urban’s tour dates and get ticket information, check out his website.