Keith Urban Shares Personal Tragedy That Inspired Him to Give Back

Keith Urban is notoriously one of the most philanthropic singers in country music, supporting important causes like St. Jude, All For The Hall, music education and more. The singer-songwriter says he makes giving back a priority in his life, because of a tragedy he endured as a child.

"When I was 10, our family's house burned down, and we lost everything," Urban recalled to All Access. "I remember a couple things happened; the first was the Red Cross, and I believe it was Goodwill, both stepped up and gave us some clothing. It had some personal effects and got us back on our feet. The other big thing that happened was that we were members of this country music club, and they put on this fundraiser for us at somebody's house."

"I remember they couldn't sell beer, because they would've needed a license, so the beer was free with suggested donations of $2 a bottle," he added. "They raised a bunch of money to help us, and I saw that real community spirit in action at a very young age, and it's always stayed with me."

Urban is especially passionate about All For The Hall, which raised money for the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, even though he admits it has been a challenge to continue the momentum.

"The struggle for All For The Hall has been finding people to come play it, because it seems everybody's got events on these days and endless amounts of charity concerts that people are being asked to play," Urban explained. "And, because I wanted a theme for each year, I started putting us in to a bit of a corner, I think, where it was hard to fulfill the people required with a theme in mind."

"So, we had to put it on pause and think about how we could continue it so that it stays impactful," he continued. "Vince [Gill] and I both had a blast doing it, and hopefully, we can keep doing it, because I love doing it. I hope we can figure out a way to keep doing it, or do something similar to it."

Urban just illustrated his giving spirit when he visited a gravely ill fan, Marissa English in Ohio, who was too sick to go to his Toledo concert. Instead, Urban serenaded the 25-year-old in her hospital room for 45 minutes prior to his show.

Urban is nominated for four upcoming CMA Awards, for Album of the Year (both as artist and producer) for Graffiti U, Male Vocalist of the Year, and the night's highest honor, Entertainer of the Year.


The 2018 CMA Awards will air live from Nashville's Bridgestone Arena on Wednesday, Nov. 14 at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.

Photo Credit: Getty images/Jeff Kravitz