Keith Urban on his dad's role in his career

Chloe Best

Keith Urban has his late father Robert Urban to thank for his career as a country musician. The singer and American Idol judge made a surprise appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show this week, during which he reflected on the influence his dad had on his career.

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"You're kind of like, this is why you do what you do because of your dad, right?" Ellen asked.

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Keith Urban discussed his father with Ellen DeGeneres

"Totally," Keith replied. "His, well our, record collection was all American Country Music and that's really what pointed me in the direction of Nashville."

Keith's father passed away in December after losing his battle with cancer. The singer paid his final respects at a funeral service held in Queensland, Australia a week later, choosing to drive to the service in his father's treasured Lincoln Continental car.

The 48-year-old was joined by his brother Shane and mother Marianne for the service, however his wife Nicole Kidman was unable to attend as she was busy filming her latest movie How To Talk To Girls At Parties.

Keith's father Robert passed away in December.

Nicole has been supporting Keith throughout the difficult time, and in a statement released announcing his father's death, the musician said that he was "deeply touched" by the support he and his wife had received from fans.

"I've been deeply touched by the outpouring of love and support that Nicole [Kidman] and I, and our family, have received since my Dad's passing on Saturday night," the singer said in a statement to People magazine. "His long battle with cancer is now over and he is finally at peace. My dad's love of country music and America set me on my life's journey, and shaped so much of who I am today.

"Thank you to everyone who has kept us all in your thoughts and prayers."

Keith made a surprise appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show

It was only recently that Keith opened up about his father's condition, while promoting his Keith Urban So Far… exhibit at the Country Music Hall of Fame. The father-of-two said: "He’s probably only got a few weeks, if that. 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," he told The Tennessean. "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."

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