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Keith Urban: A Country Music Superstar Evolved From Aussie Culture

1235 words - 5 pages

A true Aussie bloke would never leave the great country of Australia. He would never trade his life as a “battler” or a “bushman” for a more glamorous life in the spotlight. An Aussie bloke would never become absorbed by fame and fortune. Would he?
Despite Keith Urban dropping out of school to pursue his dreams of playing the guitar on giant stages across the US, making millions of dollars, earning almost every country music award in the books, and marrying another celebrity superstar, many believe that this country music legend is still an Aussie bushman at heart. It could very well be the case that, beneath all the glitz and glamour of being a country music star, Keith Urban has the qualities and values that make up a typical Australian. However, there are also a number of instances where Urban has challenged the notion of being a true Australian. In the end, it is clear that Urban really is an Australian bloke who has been dropped into an unfamiliar setting. This setting is now the American country music scene. But his character is one that is uniquely Australian overall.
The first fact that should be pointed out is that Keith Urban is not a natural-born Australian. The Whangarei, New Zealand-born bloke moved to the country when he was 4 years old. It is here that he developed his passion for guitar at a young age and began performing as a teen. By 1991, at the age of 24, Urban had charted four No. 1 country singles in Australia. That wasn’t enough for him, however. Urban crossed the ocean shortly after becoming successful at home in order to further his career in Nashville, Tennessee, the hometown of many of his country music heroes (“Keith Urban Biography”).
As Simon Longstaff implies in his article on Australian identity, this move to pursue an American dream is arguably out of character for an Australian. Unlike Americans, a typical Aussie bloke would not particularly feel a passion to explore the “myth, legend and genuine achievement” that many Americans do (Longstaff). Keith Urban, in an interview with CountryMusic Guide, seems to agree that his decision wasn’t very Australian-esque. Rather, the decision was based on his desire to progress as an artist. He explains, “I come from Australia, and I'm very proud of that, but I didn't come here as an Australian—I came as an artist wanting to further my career in the country that influenced me the most” (“Keith Urban Interview”).
Many may argue that, despite being a pop star, Urban’s specialization in country music keeps him rooted in the bush that is the Australian outback. A bushman’s values tend to stand in opposition to modern day urban culture, as does American country music. In fact, Urban himself describes rural America as having many of the same qualities of the Australian Outback. He says that the people in both places are “down to earth, hard livin', hard workin'—damn good folks” (Keith Urban Interview). Living the country music star lifestyle effectively allows Urban to stay...

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