Among the famous New Zealand-born Australians, country musician Keith Urban is one of the most well-known. He was one of the judges in American Idol and one of the four vocal coaches in Australian reality singing competition The Voice. With more than 20 number one hits, 14 tours, 15 albums, and over 30 awards including four Grammy Awards, Urban is one of the powerhouses of the music industry.
However, Urban also uses his popularity to help drive his charity work. He supports 20 charities and foundations, including Melanoma Research Alliance, MusiCares, Music for Relief and Stand Up To Cancer, as well as over 20 different causes, including helping children, education, and veteran/service member support.
He shares his story of what inspired him to start paying forward, as well as what helped raise his interest in country music. When he was 9, Urban was a victim of a house fire that destroyed his family home in Caboolture, Australia.
“We were all okay,” Urban said, “but we lost all our belongings, which wasn’t much, but it was everything we had. And without hesitation, our country music club immediately put on a fundraiser for us.” Young Urban learned from this charitable gesture, and his lifetime of work for those in need was awarded the Country Radio Broadcasters 2016 Artist Humanitarian Award. Urban raised almost $3 million along with Vince Gill, for the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum with their “All for the Hall” concerts.
Keith Urban’s family has been impacted by cancer, which is why he’s joining efforts to fight this nasty disease through his charity work. In 2015, Urban’s father Robert died after a long battle with cancer. His death came just days after the “Keith Urban So Far…” exhibit in Nashville, Tennessee was open to showcase artifacts from Urban’s career — but also the influence his father had in his career. When his father entered the hospice, Keith stated: “He’s probably only got a few weeks, if that. The exhibit is a little bittersweet because my dad is the catalyst for all of this. He is the catalyst for me living in America.”
After his father’s death, Keith Urban dedicated himself more to supporting charities that fight against cancer. In September 2018, he joined the stars that announced they would take part in Stand Up To Cancer sixth annual telethon. According to the organization, the telethon was its most successful one to date, raising over $123 million in pledges from the U.S. and Canada. Stand Up To Cancer fights to contribute to federal approval of new cancer treatments, and was established in 2008 by various influential figures from entertainment and media to accelerate cancer research.
As Keith Urban joins their efforts, as well as efforts of other cancer-related charities and causes, he’s making a positive change in society. Raising awareness of the issue and using music to overcome all differences and adversities can be the way to go to defeat cancer. As long as we have significant, influential and humanitarian figures leading the charge, we will be making progress towards a cancer-free world.