Keith Urban’s name has been called out at award shows countless times since he burst onto the scene at the turn of the century. But his most recent podium appearance at the American Music Awards was undoubtedly the most memorable yet. Here’s why the New Zealander became overwhelmed with emotion at one of the U.S. music industry’s biggest nights.
Born in Whangarei, New Zealand in 1967, Urban first started performing in local competitions before entering Australian talent contest New Faces in his mid-teens. He subsequently became a regular face on various country music TV shows, and in 1990 landed a deal with EMI. His eponymous debut album arrived later that same year.
After moving to Nashville in 1992, Urban began making inroads into the U.S. country scene. He co-wrote tracks with Toby Keith, 4 Runner and the Raybon Brothers, and played on albums by Tim Wilson, Charlie Daniels and Paul Jefferson. He also scored two Hot Country Songs hits as the frontman of short-lived band The Ranch.