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Keith Urban Tears Up During AFI Speech for Nicole Kidman: "A Real-Life Princess"

The Voice mentor's words for his wife of 18 years are so romantic.

By Chris Phelan

Thanks to moments like these, there isn't a single person on earth who doubts the love Keith Urban has for his wife, Nicole Kidman.

How to Watch

Watch the Season 26 premiere of The Voice on Monday, September 23 at 8/7c on NBC and next day on Peacock. 

The country rocker never shies away from being the ultimate husband, whether tenderly being her right-hand man at the Met Gala or teaming up with Kidman for some epic car karaoke sessions. However, Urban may have set the bar too high for himself with the romantic and heartfelt speech he gave on the night she was awarded the 49th AFI Life Achievement Award.

On April 27 inside Hollywood's famed Dolby Theater, Hollywood came out in droves to recognize Kidman's body of work, and the distinction couldn't have been given to a more worthy person. Kidman's husband of nearly 20 years took advantage of the opportunity to give a speech for the ages. (Boyfriends, fiancés, and current husbands take note!) The couple also brought along their daughters Sunday Rose, 15, and Faith, 13, who made their red carpet debut.

Kidman beamed throughout and was visibly emotional by the end. The former Voice mentor didn't fare much better, fighting back tears — and smiling through them — as he captivated viewers with his unbelievable tale of how they first met, falling in love with who he calls "a real-life princess," and how she stayed by him throughout his battle with addiction.

It doesn't get much sweeter than that.

The complete transcript of Keith Urban's speech about Nicole Kidman

Nicole Kidman poses on the red carpet with her family at the AFI Life Achievement Award Gala

Relive Urban's riveting and romantic four-minute tribute below:

We met in January 2005. We were being honored at this event called 'G'Day LA,' which sounds a bit like a pickup line from Crocodile Dundee.

We chatted very briefly. I was trying to play it cool, but inside I felt like I'd snuck into the royal ball simply because Nic has such a truly otherworldly aura about her, and I felt a bit like I was meeting a real-life princess. And despite all of that, I did manage to get her phone number on a tiny piece of paper, and I carried that number in my pocket for well over a week. I pull it out, look at it, and put it back in my pocket. I was too scared — I was scared, I was nervous to call her, and as prone as I might have been at the time to all sorts of delusional thinking, even I couldn't stretch that to think that this extraordinary woman would ever see anything in a guy like me. And that's not me being humble; that's literally how I saw myself and her.

I did, as you probably figured out, pluck up the courage to finally call her. We started talking, and we just talked and talked like we'd known each other our whole lives. It turned out that this mystic creature was really just a wide-eyed, vivacious, giddy girl from the Sydney suburbs, and despite being born in Honolulu, she was utterly Aussie through and through.

We got married in June 2006, and barely four months into our marriage, my addictions that I'd done really nothing about blew our marriage to smithereens, and I went into the Betty Ford Center for three months. Four months into a marriage, I'm into rehab for three months, with no idea what was going to happen to us. And if you want to see what love in action really looks like, give that a whirl. 

Nic pushed through every negative voice — I'm sure even some of her own — and she chose love, and here we are tonight, 18 years later. That's the thing about Nic: she loves life. I've actually never met anyone who has such a passion for being alive. She knows the importance of expressing feelings as well. I wasn't raised like this at all, so our girls are very lucky to be learning from you, baby. I'm learning, too.

I heard a saying years ago that we're all spiritual beings having a human experience. That's Nic to a T. A Gemini with a duality to prove it. She's raw, but she's resilient. She's serious and a complete goofball. But she also has a bit of a mantra, and that is: Choose love. Now I've watched her do this many times, navigating emotionally complex things that she's gone through with so many people. She always chooses that phrase; she lives by it. Choose love. 

She has the capacity to love like no one I've ever met. And I know tonight's all about her body of work so far — so far, baby — but next year will be twenty years that I've been madly in love with you. Congratulations baby girl, I love you.

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