Urban To Headline Starry Night

GRAMMY Foundation signature concert to feature performances by Keith Urban and the Avett Brothers and benefit educational programs
  • Keith Urban
June 02, 2010 -- 4:00 am PDT
GRAMMY.com

The GRAMMY Foundation has announced three-time GRAMMY winner Keith Urban will headline its signature Starry Night benefit concert on July 23 at the Los Angeles Tennis Center at the University of California, Los Angeles. Rising folk combo the Avett Brothers will open the benefit.

This event is presented in association with the Farmers Classic tennis tournament and will be held three nights before the tournament opens. Starry Night will benefit the GRAMMY Foundation's GRAMMY in the Schools music education programs for high school students and the Southern California Tennis Association Foundation.

"Keith Urban's career is defined by both exceptional musicianship and extraordinary generosity," said Neil Portnow, President/CEO of The Recording Academy and the GRAMMY Foundation. "And it is meaningful and moving that Keith is lending his time and talents during the busy summer touring season in support of the GRAMMY Foundation and our GRAMMY in the Schools music education programs. We are also delighted to have the Avett Brothers showcase their unique and powerful music at our Starry Night benefit."

"I was so fortunate to have been exposed to music at such a young age," said Urban. "It touched my heart and opened up a world of adventure and possibilities beyond anything I'd ever known. Being a part of this concert, supporting the efforts of the GRAMMY Foundation and the Southern California Tennis Association Foundation, is something that I feel very strongly about, because I know firsthand what art, music and sport can do for our youth."

"The Farmers Classic is again delighted to collaborate with the GRAMMY Foundation to help raise funds for this worthy charity," said Bob Kramer, Farmers Classic tournament director. "The Southern California Tennis Association and UCLA are extremely proud to be involved with such important causes and to provide a lively and entertaining kickoff for the 84th annual Farmers Classic at UCLA."

In 2001 the Country Music Association honored Urban with its Horizon Award, designating him a talented artist with a bright future. To this day Urban remains the only Horizon Award winner in history to go on to win the CMA's Top Male Vocalist of the Year, a title he's captured three times, and the coveted Entertainer of the Year. Nine years later and nearly 15 million albums sold, Urban has won three GRAMMY Awards and in the past year has added an American Music Award and People's Choice Award to his mantle. He's won five Academy of Country Music Awards, has 11 No. 1 singles, 22 Top 5 hits, and two consecutive No. 1 albums, including his latest Defying Gravity, which debuted atop both the Billboard 200 and Country Albums charts.

In December 2009, Urban was named the year's Top Overall Performer for Country Aircheck/Mediabase based on his country radio airplay, thanks to hits including "Sweet Thing," "Kiss A Girl" and "Only You Can Love Me This Way." In addition, his 2002 smash "Somebody Like You" was named the No. 1 Country Song of the Decade by Nielsen BDS, based on radio airplay and audience impressions.

But Urban's reputation as an elite songwriter, musician, vocalist, and virtuoso guitarist is no more evident than when he is onstage. His electrifying concerts have played to sold-out venues from Australia to Germany to England to Canada and the United States, and have received high praise from critics. In fact, 2009's Escape Together World Tour, as well as 2007's Love, Pain & The Whole Crazy World Tour, were both top-grossing tours for their respective years, according to Pollstar.

There is no harmony like brotherly harmony. Something indelible in the weave of voices and play of sensibilities is stamped into the fraternal DNA and also stems from a lifetime of shared experiences. You can clearly hear that fraternal magic at work in the songs of Scott and Seth Avett, better known as the Avett Brothers. That magic is abundantly evident on I And Love And You, the Avett Brothers' big-label debut. Its 13 songs are delivered in a style that defies pigeonholing, but might be described as a rootsy amalgam of folk, country, bluegrass, rock, and pop, with a jab of punk-style dynamics in places. Drawn by the naked honesty of their songs and the rousing intensity of their live shows, legendary producer and talent scout Rick Rubin signed the Avett Brothers — consisting of siblings Scott and Seth, plus bassist Bob Crawford — to his American Recordings label in 2008.

By the time Rubin found them, the Avett Brothers had compiled their own impressive track record with five full-length albums and two EPs on their manager's Ramseur Records label. They debuted in 2001 with a self-titled six-song EP and then issued a full-fledged album, Country Was, a year later. Mignonette (2004), Four Thieves Gone (2006) and Emotionalism (2007) followed, which offered a generous 49 songs among them. The Avett Brothers' latest release, an EP titled The Gleam II, reached No. 82 on the Billboard 200 in 2008 — quite a showing for an independent album with minimal marketing and publicity.

The GRAMMY Foundation helps preserve our nation's musical heritage and provides programs that foster future generations of music professionals. Organized under the GRAMMY in the Schools banner, the Foundation's education programs include GRAMMY Camp — to be held this year from July 10–19 at USC — as well as the GRAMMY Jazz Ensembles, GRAMMY Career Day, GRAMMY Signature Schools, and GRAMMY SoundChecks. For the first time, this year Urban will serve as GRAMMY Camp's honorary dean to affirm his commitment to the GRAMMY Foundation's music education programs for young people. For more information, visit www.grammyintheschools.com.

Tickets for Starry Night go on sale at Ticketmaster on June 11 at 10 a.m. PST.