Keith Urban: “I Was Going to Do It Forever”

CMT Artists of the Year Honoree Dedicated to Music Since Childhood

For Keith Urban, life has always been about the music. He admits it’s all he’s ever known.

His dedication is obvious to anyone who has explored the sheer volume of his musical catalog and accolades throughout the past 15 years.

On Dec. 2, he’ll add to those accolades during the CMT Artists of the Year special.

While he’s grown accustomed to delivering his hit music and stellar guitar artistry on large stages throughout the world, Urban says he would still be playing music even if he never achieved commercial success.

“I’d be somewhere else,” he told CMT. “I’d be playing some club somewhere tonight.”

It hasn’t always been an easy journey, however, and it’s taken the support of some special people in encouraging him to remain strong and push on during life’s challenging moments.

“I feel really fortunate that I had supportive parents, first and foremost,” Urban said. “I started playing when I was age 6, and my mom and dad were incredibly supportive of me and drove me to talent quests that I was entering in when I was 9 and 10 and 11.”

Not even old enough to drive when he joined his first band, Urban says his parents sacrificed a lot so he could follow his passion.

“I left school at 15 and was playing five nights a week in a band, and my mom and dad supported that, too,” he said.

As a father, dropping out of school is not something Urban condones, but he remains greatly indebted for the understanding of his parents when he made the decision that would ultimately shape his life forever.

“I was very fortunate to have parents that really believed in what I was doing,” he said. “They could see I was going to do it forever.”

CMT honors Urban, Jason Aldean, Luke Bryan, Florida Georgia Line and Miranda Lambert during the CMT Artists of the Year special airing live Dec. 2 at 8 p.m. ET.