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Country Star Keith Urban Back on Top with 'Pain, Love & The Whole Crazy Thing'


In 2006, Country star Keith Urban was enjoying monumental success in his career and seemed more content than ever in his personal life. But, to the surprise of many, in October he left his home in Nashville to enter a live-in alcohol rehabilitation center in California. As VOA's Mary Morningstar tells us, Keith Urban has completed treatment and is now out promoting his new album, Love, Pain and the Whole Crazy Thing.

"Once In A Lifetime" was the first single from Keith Urban's fourth album Love, Pain and the Whole Crazy Thing. The song entered Billboard's Country chart at Number 17 to become the highest debut ever on that list.

While he should have been celebrating that record-breaking success, as well as his recent marriage to actress Nicole Kidman, Keith was out of public view being treated for alcohol abuse at the Betty Ford Center in Los Angeles.

This wasn't his first stint at rehab. In 1998, Keith spent a month at a Nashville clinic, where he received help to kick an addiction to alcohol and cocaine. Urban explains how he recognized it was time to get more professional treatment.

"It's nothing to do with contentedness and happiness because I had all of that," Urban says. "But, I wasn't doing what I should be doing to maintain the road that I was on previously. So, it was a big wake up call to get back onto the road. It just became time, and I could see where it was going. It was coming at me in a way that it was very apparent that 'this is not me.' I think anybody out there [who's] in a situation recognizes that 'it's not me, it's something else.' So, I'm really grateful for the support I got around me."

Ronnie Dunn, of the award-winning Country duo Brooks and Dunn, joins Keith on the post-Hurricane Katrina song "Raise the Barn." The track is one of 11 songs Urban wrote or co-wrote for his new album.

Keith will soon begin a world tour to support Love, Pain and the Whole Crazy Thing. He tells us what he likes best about performing live concerts.

"Seeing people sing along with the new songs especially is great," he says. "And just feeling that thing that happens in the room when that moment comes when the music and the people have come and there's all that connectedness. When that happens and it gets to a single place, it's not individual. It's just all of us as one for that moment. It's extraordinary."

2007 will be a very busy year for Keith. He says he'll be making at least 10 trips to Australia during tour breaks to visit his wife, who will be filming a movie in the couple's homeland. The European leg of Urban's "Love, Pain and the Whole Crazy Thing" tour gets under way on April 19. U.S. concerts are scheduled to begin in early-June.

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