Keith Urban covers the new issue of Country Weekly. In the 2nd part of a 4-part series on Country Stars Giving Back, Keith Urban spoke to the magazine about the charities close to his heart, why he got involved, and how it makes him feel.
“I came from nothing, basically. Our family—very, very working class—really had nothing. [We had] a pretty rubbishy car and a pretty rubbishy house attached onto the back of the corner store my parents ran. My brother and I slept on little horsehair mattresses on the floor,” Keith allows. “To come from that and to be in the strange, rarified air I find myself in these days, I can certainly feel a strong pull to want to give back. I’m immensely blessed with what I’ve been given in my life.”
Since music is his love and livelihood, it’s also a cause he holds near and dear to his heart. Keith was the honorary dean at this year’s Grammy camp.
“Getting instruments into kids’ hands is something that been really important to me all my life,” Keith says. “I started so young—I was six when I started playing guitar. I was fortunate to a) have parents that could afford to buy me a guitar and pay for lessons and b) fortunate that I went to public schools and they had music in schools and that was pretty basic, pretty standard curriculum, but it seems more and more that that’s one of the programs they’re taking out of schools for budgetary reasons. That’s a huge, huge mistake. Things like the Grammy Camp correct that and give these kids the opportunity to get instruments in their hands where they might not otherwise get that.”
Keith also has joined forces with his wife, Nicole Kidman, to bring awareness to causes. Nicole is the Goodwill Ambassador for UNIFEM (United Nations Development Fund for Women) where she often talks about violence against women. The two have also shared support for flood victims in Nashville and wildfire victims in Australia.
“My wife has become involved with women’s rights and so I’ve found myself involved in that, and very gladly so, too. Not only violence against women, but women’s rights in countries where they are not being honored".
“I don’t know that there’s a common thread other than just people in need and, in certain cases, where there seems to be an extreme lack of justice—we certainly like to get involved in that,” Keith explains of the causes he and Nicole support. “There’s absolutely limitless causes on a daily basis for everybody to be involved in, it’s just looking to the ones that for me and Nic, that we feel strongly about and feel that we can actually do something about as well.”
“It’s not in Nic or I to do things for our own benefit, so we’ve shied away from more of the public stuff in the past, but it was pointed out to us by certain people that if we were to take a bit more of a public face with some of these that it might actually be more help than just the financial aid,” Keith says.
You can read more about how Keith Urban gives back in next weeks Country Weekly magazine.
The end of the interview didn't make the magazine, but Urban Myths uncovered it:
"My baby girl and I have just bought a rubbishy apartment in New York, for a measly $10 million. Nic wanted to spend more like $20 million, but I said "Babygirl, I'm OK living in a dump like this; even if we do have to use a lift to get our Bentley up to the apartment. It only has three bedrooms, so one for me and one for Nic, and of course Sunday will share with the Nanny. The chauffeur has to sleep in the servant’s quarters on the lower level. It's a hardship but we pride ourselves on living a simple life."