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
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.
“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