On This Day: Keith Urban Drops Debut Album in 1999

by Brianna Vacca
(Photo By Debra L. Rothenberg/Wireimage)

Twenty-two years ago today, Keith Urban dropped his self-titled record “Keith Urban.” A lot has changed for the singer since 1999. This marks the date where Urban re-launched himself as a global artist.

“Keith Urban” dropped on October 19th, 1999, via Capitol Nashville. Before this release, Urban’s debut record of the same title emerged in Australia in 1991. He also released another album before this as a member of The Ranch. The record composed four breakthrough singles “It’s A Love Thing,” “Your Everything,” “But for the Grace of God,” and “Where The Blacktop Ends” – all on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart. Three of these songs are now on Urban’s “Greatest Hits: 18 Kids Projects.”

The album emerged after some of the hardest times in the country music singer’s career. Addiction consumed Urban’s life. Cocaine, ecstasy, Ambien, alcohol, darkened the singer’s life. He says, “It was difficult. I mean, it was a difficult time for me in Nashville. You know, there’s only sort of so much constant rejection that I can take until I didn’t know what else to do. It was an escape mechanism that sort of got out of hand, unfortunately.”

What Saved Him?

Music and his marriage to Nicole Kidman. He shares, “When I was on stage, I felt good, but if I was not on stage, I was very, very insecure. I felt like I didn’t have much of anything to offer. I was just an alien.” He says about his new marriage, “I caused the implosion of my fresh marriage. It survived, but it’s a miracle it did. I was spiritually awoken with her. I use the expression ‘I was born into her,’ and that’s how I feel. And for the first time in my life, I could shake off the shackles of addiction.”

“Keith Urban” received nominations at the 2000 ARIA Music Awards for Best Country Album but lost out to Troy Cassar-Daley. The album was certified Platinum.

Keith Urban’s Band The Ranch

Don’t overlook Keith Urban’s time in The Ranch. The Ranch released one album under their name – The Ranch – and received backing from Capitol Nashville. Alongside Urban were members Jerry Flowers and Peter Clarke, as Urban penned all of the tracks on the record. The album later re-named as “Keith Urban in The Ranch” and spit off a few tracks later recorded by other artists.

Scotty McCreery recorded “Walkin’ The Country” for debut project “Clear As Day,” Dixie Chicks recorded “Some Days You Gotta Dance” for their record Fly in 1999. David Nail recorded “Desiree” for “The Sound of a Million Dreams” and Steel Magnolia covered “Homespun Love.”

Now, Keith Urban’s career has been filled with career-changing accolades. His albums have sold more than 15 million copies, and he’s a four-time Grammy Award winner. Urban also proudly owns seven Academy of Country Music Awards, 10 Country Music Awards, an American Music Award, and a People’s Choice Award.