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Keith Urban Honoring First Responders at Debut New Zealand Concert

keith urban new zealand earthquake first responders
Cameron Spencer, Getty Images

Keith Urban is playing a very special gig in New Zealand on Saturday (Dec. 3), and the country superstar is taking the opportunity to give back to emergency workers who were among the first responders during a recent earthquake.

Kaikoura was struck by a devastating 7.8 magnitude earthquake on Nov. 14 that was so powerful, new photos from NASA have revealed new land masses spanning 20 kilometers off the coast that were lifted out of the ocean by the force of the quake, according to the New Zealand Herald.

Urban heard about the earthquake while finishing up the North American leg of his Ripcord Tour, and he decided to do something special for the men and women who bravely responded to emergency calls after the disaster. The singer-songwriter has donated tickets so that dozens of emergency personnel will be able to attend his concert at Westpac Stadium.

“We cannot forget the incredible work of our first responders at the local Civil Defense, Emergency Services and Defense Force,” Urban says in a press release. “These courageous men and women answer the call without hesitation and represent the best of the human spirit. I’m incredibly appreciative of not only what they did to protect everyone affected by the Kaikoura quake, but of what they do each and every day — and so to have them come see us play and show them our appreciation is an honor.”

Though Urban was born in New Zealand, the show actually marks his first headlining gig there as a solo artist. Carrie Underwood is joining him on the bill.

“I’m so psyched about finally getting to play a real show in the country of my birth,” he says. “The last time I played music there, I was in a duo playing every weekend at a pub called the DB Onerahi in Whangarei… and I was 17. This is gonna be an amazing feeling!”

Keith Urban Talks Carrie Underwood Duet

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Next: ToC's Review of 'Ripcord'

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