It's good to be Keith Urban: The Aussie has notched a total of 22 No. 1 hits, including his recent single "Blue Ain't Your Color," throughout his career; his current single, "The Fighter," a duet with Carrie Underwood, is in the Top 5; and all of the previous singles from his 2016 album Ripcord have landed at the top of the charts. Urban also has received plenty of industry recognition -- ACM and CMA nominations, for example -- for his newest record, plus nods in the Entertainer of the Year and Male Vocalist of the Year categories.

In other words, Urban is living out all of the dreams that he had for himself when he was  starting out, more than 25 years ago.

"If I knew how to do it, I would have done it last year or the year before," Urban jokes. "The stars line up and things happen, I guess.

"For me, I love making music. I love making records. I really do," recently told The Boot and other reporters. "And, I’ve been curious, passionate and hungry [about] where my art can go, and that’s really what drives me."

Ripcord is a blend of Urban's influences -- including his late father -- and the country star is already considering what his next album will sound like ... but not too much. As with Ripcord and its predecessor, Fuse, Urban wants to let the music take the lead; he follows the inspiration.

"It’s just a natural evolution," Urban explains. "I think so long as it’s authentic and organic, it resonates as that, hopefully, to most people, because that’s how it feels to me. If I didn’t have Fuse, [Ripcord] might seem like a more extreme record, but, to me, Fuse was such a great transitional record to allow me to go in that direction.

"Like everybody, I listen to so much music; I’m absorbing music and sounds from every era of music, and every facet from where it can come around the globe. It has to influence what I do when I go into the studio," Urban continues. "I think it’s more a willingness to go where the music wants to go, and not to second-guess it or question it as much as I might have at some point."

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A father of two, Urban hopes to use his status as a celebrity to help others -- especially children -- pursue their own musical ambitions. The singer recently received the Recording Artists’ Coalition Award at the Grammys on the Hill ceremony, in recognition of his commitment to music education.

"[Success] is an opportunity to bring attention to something like music education programs, which is something I’m passionate about, so it’s an honor, first and foremost, and, secondly, a chance to bring attention to a lot of that that’s going on," Urban notes. "There’s so many people working on this constantly, trying to make sure that that’s not something that’s discarded out of school curriculum.

"It’s a broad conversation," Urban adds, "and I never want to say, ‘You can’t do that,’ but what I’m asking is for it to be part of the conversation, when a school’s looking at what they can do away with, to least pause and consider this as something more than just a frivolous activity on the periphery."

Urban's newest Grammys honor is just the latest in a string of accolades, but the artist confesses that his greatest achievement has nothing to do with his career; rather, it was marrying his wife, actress Nicole Kidman.

"Because everything -- to me, everything good in my life that’s happened -- came after that, for me," he says. "Sobriety, having children, everything started to come after that, so hands down, marrying her."

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