Keith Ur­ban’s good deed

The king of coun­try mu­sic is also the king of kind­ness, set­ting aside fam­ily time to help a good cause

Woman’s Day (Australia) - - Contents -

He could’ve been hob­nob­bing with su­per­stars at the Tel­luride Film Fes­ti­val along with his wife Ni­cole Kid­man, but kind Keith Ur­ban cut short his time at the event, so he could make a sur­prise ap­pear­ance at a char­ity luncheon in Toowoomba – and give one lo­cal fan a mem­ory she’ll trea­sure for­ever.

Keith jet­ted into the Queens­land town for prostate can­cer fundraiser It’s A Bloke Thing, and while the 600 at­ten­dees were ex­pect­ing a “spe­cial guest”, the ex­cit­ing big re­veal didn’t come un­til the coun­try singer walked on stage.

A DREAM COME TRUE

For 31-year-old lo­cal woman Sam Dug­gan, Keith’s 60-minute set made last Mon­day “the best the day of my life”.

“I was a vol­un­teer, show­ing peo­ple to their seats,” Sam tells Woman’s Day. “When I found out Keith was the spe­cial guest, I was be­side my­self. I’m his big­gest fan! I’ve seen him in con­cert 13 times and even hol­i­dayed in Nashville to visit his star on the Walk of Fame.”

Sam, who has a fam­ily mem­ber im­pacted by prostate can­cer, grabbed a spot right in front of the stage to watch her idol up close.

“I was singing along when some­one shouted out to Keith that I knew all the words to his songs,” ex­plains Sam. “Next thing I know, he’d whisked me up on stage to sing with him.”

Sam joined the coun­try star for his hit The Fighter – and knew ev­ery word from start to fin­ish.

“I’m a ter­ri­ble singer,” she ad­mits, “but I wasn’t go­ing to pass up the chance to sing with the best man in the world!”

HAPPY TO LEND A HAND

And the “best man in the world” he could very well be, for not only did he kindly say Sam’s singing was “im­pres­sive”, it’s come to light Keith hired a pri­vate jet at his own ex­pense to get from LA to the event, and didn’t pocket a cent.

Woman’s Day can re­veal the fa­ther-of-two, who’s cur­rently in the mid­dle of his Graf­fiti U world tour, was sup­posed to be en­joy­ing a well-earned week off with his wife Ni­cole Kid­man, 51, and their daugh­ters Sun­day, 10, and Faith, seven. But big-hearted Keith, who grew up in nearby Ca­bool­ture, put pre­cious “Kur­ban” fam­ily plans on hold to fly over and sing at the sit-down luncheon to raise funds

for re­search and cre­ate aware­ness about prostate can­cer.

“Keith was keen to get in­volved and the event was sen­sa­tional. We ended up raising $2 mil­lion as a re­sult of his ef­forts,” says one of the or­gan­is­ers, John Wag­ner, who adds that when he was ap­proached to per­form at the event six months ago, the four­time Grammy Award-win­ning artist didn’t hes­i­tate to com­mit.

“He used his days off to help us out,” John re­veals. “Keith’s just a beau­ti­ful hu­man be­ing and so gen­er­ous with his time. And he has his own con­nec­tion with prostate can­cer, too.”

In late 2015, Keith lost his beloved fa­ther, Robert, to the dis­ease, and other mem­bers of the Ur­ban clan have bat­tled it, too.

“My fa­ther had prostate can­cer, so I’m hon­oured I could be a part of this, and thank­ful to or­gan­is­ers for do­ing this,” the 50-year-old coun­try star told the crowd be­fore belt­ing out some of his best-loved hits, in­clud­ing Some­body Like You.

In Aus­tralia, al­most 18,000 new cases of prostate can­cer will be di­ag­nosed this year – and like so many oth­ers, John has also bat­tled the dis­ease.

PER­SONAL CAUSE

“I was first di­ag­nosed with prostate can­cer when I was 49 and I’ve beaten it twice,” he re­veals. “I’ve been cured for four-and-a-half years now.

“For those di­ag­nosed early it’s a cur­able dis­ease but men need to talk about it and get checked. It’s our job to spread the word and keep work­ing un­til we find a cure,” says John.

And while the event – now in its eighth year – made a motza for the wor­thy cause, it’s also cre­ated last­ing me­mories for the town.

“Keith’s the big­gest su­per­star to come here,” says Sam, who’s been a fan for 15 years. “The com­mu­nity is buzzing and so proud of the event, and I per­son­ally feel like my life is com­plete.”

Adds or­gan­iser John, “The Qan­tas It’s A Bloke Thing has gone from strength to strength, but when Keith Ur­ban turns up in Toowoomba to sing at a prostate can­cer event, it doesn’t get much bet­ter than that. We’re hum­bled he came all the way from the US to per­form at the lunch.” Onya, Keith!

‘I’m his big­gest fan! I’ve seen him in con­cert 13 times’

For more info about the foun­da­tion, visit itsablokething.com.au

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