Why are we being reminded THREE times in this article about who he's married to? He's performing his MUSIC in Pittsburgh, Kellie.
Country star Keith Urban sings a happy song
By Kellie B. Gormly
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Keith Urban's life has been golden for the past few years, and it shows in his most recent music, fans say; he has lived up to his earlier hit, "Who Wouldn't Wanna Be Me."
Urban, who will perform tonight at Mellon Arena, has enjoyed many positive life changes: sobriety after rehab, his marriage to movie star Nicole Kidman, and last year's birth of the couple's daughter, Sunday Rose. The new optimism and fulfillment shine through the lyrics in his latest album, "Defying Gravity," which came out in March, fans and music industry officials say.
"I certainly think you can make the statement that ... the CD has more of a sunny, maybe more positive outlook than some of his previous work," says Frank Bell, vice president of programming for country radio station Froggy 98.3. "It's a reflection ... of coming through rehab, and how good his life is going in the sense of being married to Nicole Kidman and having a baby."
Urban called Bell last year in the wee hours of the morning Australian time, when he was up changing the baby's diaper, Bell says. Urban had a list of radio stations he should call, including Froggy, and he sounded very happy, Bell says.
"I think he's got a lot of very positive things going on in his life right now," he says. "He has a very successful concert tour, and his album's doing well. He's got a lot to be thankful for right now. He's just a great individual."
"Defying Gravity" includes the current single "Only You Can Love Me This Way" and the recent No. 1 tune "Sweet Thing." Jeremy Mulder, a Froggy DJ who does the afternoon show under the name "Danger Frog," says he regularly sings "Sweet Thing" to his new wife, Kelly.
"Keith Urban songs make you want to sing, even if you can't," Mulder says jokingly.
He agrees that Urban's newest music demonstrates a shift from his earlier work.
"He married a beautiful, Oscar-winning actress," says Mulder, a big fan. "Now ... he's talking about some of the love in his life. ... It's still good, but just in a different way.
"Even when things weren't great, (Urban) had an optimistic view on life. No one can play the guitar like him ... and he has a great voice."
Bettyann Grooms, a fan from Kennedy, says she fell in love with Urban about three years ago when she saw a DVD of one of his live concerts. Later, when she went to an Urban concert at Mellon Arena, she sat in the front row and caught a guitar pick he threw.
"He's just so talented, not to mention extremely gorgeous," says Grooms, 36. "I think ... he is an amazing writer. His music just speaks to me ... with my life experiences."
She agrees that "Defying Gravity" reflects the happy spot where Urban is in his life right now.
"A lot of his music, especially ballads, have been about love lost and the search for Ms. Right," Grooms says. "Now, you can hear the love in his music. He's found that person. He really relates that in his music now."
Grooms' fiance, Frank Farmer, agrees that Urban's latest music is happier and more lighthearted. Farmer also says he likes Urban's personality.
"He seems to be really down to earth -- a real person, and not just an entertainer," says Farmer, 43. "He seems like somebody you can just walk up to and have a conversation with."
Bell also praises Urban's personality and kindness.
"He's one of those guys who certainly is qualified as a star in any sense of the word, but when you meet him, he is so down to earth, he is so likable, and he is so genuine," Bell says. "He has all of the qualities that you would want to have in your best friend."
Kellie B. Gormly can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-320-7824.