Keith Urban's smooth stage presence was being practiced at a very early age. He grew up in Australia and began taking guitar lessons at the age of six. His natural musical talent and charisma soon led to his participation in children's theatre, where he first began to sing. His father was delighted to have a musical talent in the family. Urban's father was very interested in American culture and country music, and he passed that interest on to his son. Young Keith Urban grew up listening to Glen Campbell, Dolly Parton, and Don Williams. He was steeped in country music.
As he grew up, his interests started to evolve as well. As a teenager, Urban began playing gigs with a band in local clubs. He started to become more influenced by rock guitarists like Mark Knopfler of Dire Straits and Lindsey Buckingham of Fleetwood Mac. This unique blend of country style and rock guitar brought him fame all over his native Australia. He had three number one singles on his first solo album, Clutterbilly. He won five Golden Guitars from the Country Music Awards of Australia. Urban decided to move his act to the United States where the real country music industry was. He wanted to make it big and he knew just where to go: Nashville.
In the late 1980s Urban collaborated in Nashville with songwriters like Gary Burr, Trey Bruce, and Dave Loggins. He became a popular guitarist in the area and played on albums for the Dixie Chicks and Garth Brooks. He began to feel comfortable in his new surroundings and with his growing knowledge and talent, so he brought over his friend and drummer Peter Clarke and formed The Ranch. Urban and Clarke were joined by bass player Jerry Flowers to finish out the trio. The Ranch toured locally, trying to get their music noticed around Nashville. Their live shows began getting publicity and drew crowds of music lovers as well as scouts. The live success of Urban's music soon led to a record deal with Capitol Nashville. Miles Copeland stepped in as the band's manager and they released a self-titled album in 1997. The Ranch disbanded when a severe throat infection put Urban on the sidelines. After a few months recuperating, he jumped back into the music scene and started to make up for lost time.
Keith Urban released a self-titled solo album in 1999 and toured to publicize his music. He opened for many famous country performers including Dwight Yoakam, Faith Hill, and Tim McGraw. He soon began headlining some of his own shows after his successful cooperation with other artists. As his fan base was growing, so was his ranking in the charts. His single 'It's a Love Thing' made the Top 15 on the country charts. 'Your Everything' climbed even higher into the top 10. One aspect of Keith Urban's personality that helped him rise to fame and fortune is his sense of humor. Fans see it in his songs, in his live performances, and in the smiles on his face. Keith says that the inspiration for 90% of his songs comes to him in the shower. He says about his muse: "It has a sense of humor and it likes giving me ideas in the most inopportune times and places. I see my muse looking down and it's laughing its head off at me."