Raise your hand if you didn’t know Keith Urban is Australian. Okay, keep your hand raised if you didn’t know Keith Urban is “just friends” with Nicole Kidman. And finally, keep those hands up there if you think Kidman breathed a sigh of relief for getting out when she did after ex-hubby Tom Cruise mounted Oprah’s couch.
See, some might view Urban as a step down for the fiery-haired beauty from Down Under; after all, she was married to the biggest movie star in the world for, like, ever. But that’s just not the case. After all, Urban is now one of the biggest country stars in the States — Be Here won Album of the Year at the 2005 Academy of Country Music Awards — so, with regard to social standing in their respective fields, Urban ain’t exactly slacking compared to Katie Holmes’ baby daddy. Plus, dating a country singer isn’t considered slumming like it used to be, thanks to actresses such as Renee Zellweger and Drea de Matteo (Zellwegger married Kenny Chesney and de Matteo is shagging Shooter Jennings). It’s become something of a trend, really, one Julia Roberts tried to set back in 1993 when she said “I do” to Lyle Lovett.
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The point is, Urban is the Tom Cruise of his musical genre: long hair, shaggy scruff, sharp features. And while he’s not quite there yet, Urban is quickly becoming an unstoppable country machine. He’s been working toward it his whole life, too. Fellow Aussie Kasey Chambers can still remember him 15 years ago, playing shows on the Australian North Coast. His intention was always to go to Nashville and become the biggest country singer in the world. That might take a bit more time, but Ms. Kidman knows a good investment when she sees one. •