Keith Urban returns to the Sunshine Coast to farewell dad
COUNTRY music star Keith Urban has often credited his father Robert with setting him on the path to international fame.
But when he joins his older brother Shane at their dad's funeral today, he will be simply a son paying his final respects to a father they loved.
There will be no media hype and hopefully no paparazzi - just a gathering of people who knew and loved the larger-than-life Coast identity who recently lost his long battle with cancer.
Keith, who has flown back from America for his father's funeral, has publicly described him as "the catalyst" for his career.
"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," he was quoted as saying.
"His long battle with cancer is now over and he is finally at peace.
"Thank you to everyone who has kept us all in your thoughts and prayers."
Shane Urban - well-known for his involvement with life saving in Coolum - described his father as "an enigma".
"Dad was big man in character with an eccentric flavour, yet he had a very shy and unassuming personality," he said
"He was a larger-than-life personality who shaped my brother and I.
"He shaped my character; the passion that we as kids both had; the drive we have."
Robert Urban grew up in New Zealand and in the early 1960s travelled to Australia with his wife Marienne.
Here Shane was born in 1965 but the homesick young couple returned to New Zealand, where Keith was born in 1967.
Soon after, Robert convinced Marienne to give Australia another try. This time the young family went to Cairns, then Brisbane before putting down roots on the Sunshine Coast.
"Dad was truly smitten with my mother," Shane said.
"He was a bit of a rebel in his day but this was true love the moment they laid eyes on each other.
"It was a real enduring romance and a marriage that lasted more than 52 years."
Shane's childhood memories are of a big, strong man with a big moustache and long hair, a keen fashion sense, a great sense of humour and a passion for country music.
"Dad was larger than life and as a kid I wanted to be just like him," he said.
"No challenge would see him shy away.
"He looked after us unbelievably well. We were not flush by any stretch of the imagination but he made sure he did his best for us."