Keith Urban has had an interesting enough story about how he is an Aussie-native American country music star. But what he went through while rising to stardom and how his wife and mother of his children, Nicole Kidman, helped get him to a place where he can be happy, healthy, and a good husband and father, is truly inspirational.
Before Keith and Nicole met, the “Somebody Like You” singer found himself in a crowd that enabled him to abuse substances; specifically, cocaine and alcohol.
Speaking with Rolling Stone in 2016, he revealed the story of when he first had an experience with drugs which would lead down a road of addiction and variously unhealthy habits.
Sometime in the late 90s to early 2000s, after Keith had moved from Australia to Nashville, he had a roommate who frequently used cocaine. Inevitably, Keith was offered some, and he decided to give it a try.
“And then one day he offered me this massive pipe,” Keith explained. “I’d never had it, it looked good, so I took it. Things didn’t immediately go pear-shaped, but that was the beginning of it.”
As he became more familiar in using, he began abusing other substances like alcohol and ecstacy, along with cocaine.
“I didn’t seem able to stop,” he admitted. “There was no stopping this time. I’d go to sleep, wake up a couple of hours later, go at it again, drinking to take the edge off.”
“I remember thinking, ‘I’m probably not going to make it until tomorrow.’ And then I thought, ‘F–k it. I really don’t care. It’ll be a relief to not have to,’” he continued. “‘I’ll take an Ambien and at some point, I’ll pass.’ I was taking everything. I remember thinking, ‘Oh, good, this is the end of it, yahoo.’ I was quite happy about it.”
Come 2005, Keith met Nicole at the G’Day USA gala, in which they both seemed interested in each other but it took a while for either of them to make a move, both of them figuring the other wasn’t interested.
“I remember thinking, I had such a crush on him, and he wasn’t interested in me,” Nicole told Ellen DeGeneres in 2017. “It’s true! He didn’t call me for four months!”
Even Keith, who held all the cards, didn’t think she’d want to be with a guy like him.
“Somebody had given me her number and I had it in my pocket for a while. I kept looking at it thinking, ‘If I call this number, she’s going to answer. I don’t know what [to] say,’” he recalled in a 2018 interview. “I’d never have thought she’d see anything in a guy like me.”
Nonetheless, they both came to their senses and ended up marrying in 2006. But, with Kidman aware of his unhealthy habits, she tried to incentivise him through their objectively bizarre, yet somehow effective prenuptial agreement.
The pre-nup stated that Keith would receive a whopping $600,000 every year they were together, as long as he stayed clean and under control.
But addiction is far stronger than money.
Despite the knowledge of the agreement, Urban was unable to uphold his end of the deal. In the early years of their marriage, he was twice admitted to a rehabilitation facility, and after the second visit, he relapsed.
“I caused the implosion of my fresh marriage,” Urban previously said.
But Kidman wasn’t going to give up on him. She decided to stage an intervention and convinced her husband to go to rehab for a third time, where he spent three months inside and managed to conquer his addiction.
“I was spiritually awoken with [Nicole],” he proudly declared. “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.”
So, maybe money can’t convince an addict to get clean, but the love and unconditional caring from someone else sure can. I’m sure Keith thanks whatever God he believes in every day that Nicole found her way into his complicated life.