Keith Urban Opens CRS With a Personal Story

He Accepts Artist Humanitarian Award With Modesty and Perspective

At the very beginning of this year’s Country Radio Seminar kickoff on Monday (Feb. 8) afternoon, Keith Urban accepted the Country Radio Broadcasters’ Artist Humanitarian Award for his endless compassionate spirit.

After last year’s winners, Lady Antebellum, took the stage to present the award, he shared some of his thoughts and a little bit of his soul.

NASHVILLE, TN - FEBRUARY 08: Charles Kelley, Hillary Scott, and Dave Haywood present Keith Urban with the Artist Humanitarian Award during the CRS 2016 at Omni Hotel on February 8, 2016 in Nashville, Tennessee.  (Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images) Rick Diamond/Getty Images

Urban talked about how he is often asked, “What is country music?”

“There are so many answers to that,” Urban said. “And no matter where you come from, it’s about community.”

Then he shared a story from his childhood that was kind of the pivotal point for him in how he approaches his music and his life.

“When I was about 9, my parents had joined a country music club in Brisbane. And we’d been members for about a year when our house burned down. We were all OK, but we lost all our belongings — which wasn’t much — but it was everything we had,” Urban said. “Without hesitation, that country music club put on a fundraiser for us. And it was so apparent to me that from the age of 9, this is what it’s all about.”

He added, “When people fall on hard times, we help.”

He added that he is grateful to bring a spotlight to causes that mean something to him, like music education.

“It’s what I love to do more than anything,” he said. “I was a terrible athlete at school. And even worse at academics. Music was something I was given the opportunity to do. To give of our time is the most extraordinary thing we can do.”

Alison makes her living loving country music. She's based in Chicago, but she's always leaving her heart in Nashville.