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Keith Urban’s Father Enters Hospice Care

Keith Urban
Kevin Winter, Getty Images

Keith Urban is publicly celebrating a career triumph while privately dealing with a family tragedy. The country superstar previewed his new Country Music Hall of Fame exhibit, Keith Urban So Far, on Tuesday night (Dec. 1), and revealed afterward that his beloved father, Robert Urban, is in hospice care.

“He’s probably only got a few weeks, if that,” Urban tells Nashville’s Tennessean newspaper. “I’ve just been dealing with that the last couple of days. This has all come at a very strange time, where it’s typical of a career that has extreme highs and extreme lows, all often at the exact same time. So [the exhibit] is bittersweet a little bit because [my dad] is the catalyst for all of this. My dad is the catalyst for me living in America.”

The career-spanning exhibit makes very clear how deep his father’s influence has been on Urban’s music, beginning with some early vinyl albums from his dad’s collection that were a big musical inspiration. Urban’s dad also sewed some of the adorably elaborate stage costumes that he wore as a child performer, several of which are part of the exhibit.

“My dad particularly always thought it was important that I dressed like a performer,” Urban told a group of reporters at a press conference Tuesday. “A lot of these country music talent quests I did in Australia, they often had categories for best dressed male or best dressed female and I often won. Sometimes it was the only thing I won.”

Two of the records on display are Don Williams albums, and Urban also credits his father’s love of Williams for teaching him an important lesson, recalling the time he accompanied his dad to a record store in Australia on the day one of Williams’ albums was released so he could pick up a copy. When he asked his dad what the single was from the new project, he didn’t know.

“I said, ‘How do you know it’s going to be good?’ ” Urban shared at the press conference. “He said, ‘It’s Don Williams.’ It hit me in such a way that I thought, ‘I want to make those kinds of records, that people know are going to be solid and they go out and get it.’ I want to thank Dad for starting me on this journey.”

See Photos From Keith Urban’s Country Music Hall of Fame Exhibit

NEXT: Top 10 Keith Urban Songs

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