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Keith Urban's father enters hospice care as singer celebrates exhibition launch

Published 03/12/2015

Keith Urban
Keith Urban

Keith Urban has revealed his dad is expected to pass away within weeks.

Country star Keith Urban has mixed emotions as he celebrates the opening of a new museum exhibit in his honour because his father has just entered hospice care.

The Kiss a Girl star's Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum exhibit in his adopted Nashville, Tennessee, Keith Urban So Far..., opened on Wednesday (02Dec15), and the event was particularly emotional for the star as he revealed his father, Robert, is close to death from an undisclosed illness.

"He's probably only got a few weeks, if that," he tells The Tennessean. "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 48 year old was born in New Zealand and also spent time in Australia, but he credits his father, who was a fan of Glen Campbell and Dolly Parton, for turning him on to country music and pushing him to pursue his dreams. He also praises Robert for supporting him by making his performance costumes.

"My dad particularly always thought it was important that I dressed like a performer," he continues. "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."

The exhibit includes a Don Williams album his dad bought him as a kid.

"I said, 'How do you know it's going to be good'," he adds. "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."

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