- Keith Urban credits his wife, Nicole Kidman, for his sobriety and ultimately, saving his life.
- The country star has revealed that he used cocaine and binge drank early on in his career, ultimately leading him to seek professional help.
- “I had to find a different way to be in the world,” he said.
Keith Urban credits his wife Nicole Kidman for saving his life, but not in the way you might think. No, she didn’t ward off danger in the physical sense, but rather she did recognize his dangerous relationship with drugs and alcohol and encouraged him, with love, to repair it.
Unfortunately, cocaine and alcohol are frequent flyers in the music business. And as a longtime beloved country artist, Urban danced with both for years. “Everyone does what they want to do to have a great time. I just realized I’m allergic to it. Someone said, ‘You have an allergy? What happens when you drink?’ And I said, ‘I break out in cuffs,’” he recently joked to The Sunday Times.
That’s why he ultimately spent multiple stints in rehab, the final one insisted by Kidman shortly after they married in 2006. “I had to find a different way to be in the world,” he explained. “I’m glad it didn’t change anything about my music. I wrote plenty of hit songs while drunk. I wrote plenty sober. I feel lucky it hasn’t defined my creativity.”
In fact, the experience gave him a new song called “Thank You,” which honors Kidman’s patience and partnership with lyrics like: “I thank you for my life, and I thank God for grace and mercy, and that you became my wife.”
For a long time, the “You’ll Think of Me” singer struggled to admit to himself that his substance misuse was influenced by that of his father. “My dad was an alcoholic, so I grew up in an alcoholic house and it took me a long time to believe I was wired the same,” he admitted.
“It took me a long time to get sober,” he reiterated to Rolling Stone Australia last year. “Took me a long time to recognize my alcoholism. A long time because I didn’t drink like my dad, so I compared everything to him. So it just took a long time for me. But I was able to finally make the right choice in my life, that I wish my dad would have made.”
And that choice was made largely in thanks to Kidman. It’s not lost on Urban that the crossroads moment was ill-timed with the beginning of his marriage. And he feels fortunate that they both came out stronger on the other side.
“I caused the implosion of my fresh marriage,” he told Rolling Stone in 2016. “It survived, but it’s a miracle it did. I was spiritually awoken with her. 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.”
The pair celebrated 15 years wed last June. “Happy anniversary babygirl !!!!!!!” Urban captioned a snuggly photo of them both. “My life started when you said ‘I do’ 5475 days ago today ♥️♥️🌹🌹.”
We love their love!
If you or someone you know is suffering from substance or alcohol abuse, call the free, confidential Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).