Keith Urban has opened up on how his wife Nicole Kidman helped him come to terms with – and manage – his alcoholism, as well as his addiction to illicit substances.
During an interview with The Times, the Australian country singer spoke openly about when he realised he had a problem with alcohol.
“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 said. “I don’t talk a lot about it because I love my audience being able to just come and have a great time. I’ve nothing against drugs or alcohol. Everyone does what they want to do to have a great time. I just realised I’m allergic to it. Someone said, ‘You have an allergy? What happens when you drink?’ And I said, ‘I break out in cuffs.’”
“But I had to find a different way to be in the world,” he continues. “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
The 54-year-old musician has previously addressed his battle with alcohol and drugs, telling Roling Stone that he would drink heavily and use cocaine regularly in the 90s.
“I liked to get crazy after the gig and when I would do lots of drugs is when I was home off the road,” he told Rolling Stone. “If we were home for five days, I’d be fucked up most of the time. I would find myself feeling very alone, very lost, and vulnerable to my old ways,” he said.
Urban first checked himself into rehab in 1998 and stayed sober for the following eight years. However, he relapsed with alcohol just months after marrying Kidman in 2006.
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The singer shared that his new wife encouraged him to attend rehab again, and he immediately checked into the Betty Ford Center in Palm Spring for ninety days of treatment for his alcohol addiction.
“I was very, very blessed to have Nic call an intervention on me. I had a tight group of friends around me for the intervention. And off I went,” Urban told Rolling Stone in an interview.
In 2009, Urban released a track titled ‘Thank You’, a song dedicated to Kidman that features the lyrics “I thank you for my life.”
During the interview with The Times, Urban was asked if he plays the songs he writes for Kidman to her before he plays them to anyone else.
“Well, my studio is at the house, so the whole family hears this stuff,” he said. “I know about the projects that Nic’s working on because there are scripts lying around.
“I’ve learnt the way I feel playing a song for someone is more important than their reaction. Sometimes I’ve really loved a song until I’ve played it to the person. Then I suddenly did not feel good about it.”
For more on this topic, follow the Country Observer.