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Fan Thanks Keith Urban for Saving Her with the Gift of Handmade Guitar

I’ve been a Keith Urban fan for a long time…and I’m always in awe of folks who’ve had the experience of being lifted-up, saved, and truly touched by the man or the music. I myself have been pulled through some rough times with the help of Keith, so when fans want to share their stories…I’m more than willing to help. Glenda Hickey recently shared her story about how Keith pulled her out of despair, and the action she took to thank him.

My love of Keith Urban is not what most think, yes he is a lovely man to look at, but that is not why I did what I did. In 2009, my disease of Depression and Panic Disorder got out of hand, I had had enough, tired of it all, I was listening to Keith Urban music day and night, while my husband sat and watched me decline. I had doctors and counselors, but nothing worked. Then one day in 2009…I said this is it, I am done, but Robert(my husband) asked me to see my counselor one more time. On that drive to see her, I turned on the radio which I never do and when it came on Keith started singing the song ‘SHINE’. Now I have heard that song countless times, but on that day I listened (REALLY listened) to the words very clearly and it said to me, STAY ALIVE and at that moment I knew…I need to tell Keith my story. Time passed with attempts to contact Keith, with no result.

One night, last September of 2010; I awoke from a dream of this idea of asking my cousin Tony Carrier to handmake a guitar for Keith Urban. It was so vivid because the dream also involved my Dad… my Dad (Hedley Hickey) was also a musician, who played for amateur hours, weddings, party’s, etc. my Dad taught us the love of music and country music being his favorite. He was a very special man because even today, 28 years later after his passing his name resounds in this community and holds respect.

I asked Tony if I got 50 people involved with this guitar, people who have stories to tell on how Keith has effected their lives; would he make us a guitar? He said YES, I then asked could he put their initials in the fingerboard of guitar? Tony said yes and then it began…oh yes there were many ups and downs, too many to mention.


Tony started work on the guitar in December 2010. each person to have their initials inlaid into the fingerboard with Mother of Pearl which was purchased and shipped from Australia. I did not know what Tony would do to get those initials into the neck, but when he told me he was using Mother of Pearl I was shocked. We ended up with 56 set of initials, 4 being those of deceased people… their initials were done in Gold Mother of Pearl as was the Canadian Maple Leaf and Keith’s name, which is placed at the top of guitar. The guitar is made of Bird’s Eye Maple and Curly Maple, the fingerboard is Black Ebony from Africa and various parts are from other countries.

The journey continued from Sept 2010 to Sept 2011, through the help of dear friends I was able to get an email to Keith’s Public Relations people. I wrote and explained to them what I was doing along with the 52 people involved being from different parts of the world… Canada, United States,Germany and So Africa.
Keith’s people seemed interested, so I wrote periodically and added pictures of the progress of guitar. I was going to Keith’s concert in Ottawa, already had my tickets. Then in July, I received an email stating that I would be given 4 passes before the Ottawa show was to begin, that would allow me to have a private meeting with Keith so that I could gift him the guitar and tell him my story.

On the day, as i stood waiting to go in to see Keith it came over me, my dream is really happening… FEAR is not even the word for how I was feeling, but then reasons unknown, this peaceful calm came over me, and I knew my dream was about to happen and I knew I needed to be ready with my thoughts when I saw Keith.
Keith walked in and I handed him the guitar case…he then opened it with much surprise in his eyes.  Keith was in awe, he was amazed, surprised and beyond happy!! And to be honest SHOCKED ~ But his face said it all, he listened to me with the intent like no one I have ever known in my life, he let me touch his face so I would know he was real… remember I too was living a dream.
Keith’s hugs were worth all the anxiety I went through to get this wonderful, heartfelt gift to him. My husband and two of the ladies who participated in the guitar project were also with me, as were many of Keith’s people and they too were in awe of the craftsmanship of the guitar.

Keith is not just an entertainer, Keith is a human being first and foremost, you can see his caring in his eyes, I wanted Keith to know my story and I can say without a doubt – Keith does care about our story’s and loves us for being his fans… he is willing to listen and understands that his music touches poeple in many ways and with a lot of us it lifts our spirit and helps us to thrive.
So on that Saturday, September 9th in Ottawa, Ontario… after I passed what had become “my baby” to Keith, when I put it in his hands, I then knew it was with its rightful owner, my job and promise to all involved with the guitar was done and fufilled. I got to look Keith in the eye, say thank you, tell him my story, tell him about the guitar and its importance to all on it, and I got hugs and he let me cry on his shoulder while I told him he was a special man like my Dad was to me.
Along with the guitar we gave to Keith an album consisting of a letter from each of the people who were involved in getting this guitar made, with their own words to Keith telling him their story. We paid tribute to the man that ; without him…none of this would have happened, Tony Carrier whom made the guitar.

This guitar is a powerful gift, I know that now, it is like no other gift before given to anyone of his caliber. Keith told me he will play it and sing the song SHINE and have this recorded on video for me….also the pictures taken at our private meeting will be sent to me, which I plan to share.
My journey… was much deeper than my dream and Keith Urban is way beyond the man I imagined.

I hope you enjoyed my story.

Glenda Hickey
Belledune, New Brunswick, Canada.

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13 Responses to “Fan Thanks Keith Urban for Saving Her with the Gift of Handmade Guitar”

  1. Lisa says:

    Amazing story. I enjoyed reading every word…I don’t even know you, but felt like I was there with you….I have always wanted to meet Keith, since 1997. I joined his fan club and tried for meet and greets, but to no avail. He is hard to get to…on his Get Closer Tour, I did however get to touch his shoulder when he came into the crowd. I may never get to meet him, but I am happy for you, that you did, that you were able to live your dream. Thanks for sharing this story. God Bless you and Keith Urban always.

  2. Sheila Busby says:

    What a wonderful story. Glenda you are an amazing woman and I hope that by telling your story, it will help others to know that they TOO can overcome their problems. I will be anticipating hearing Keith sing “Shine” on his new guitar and all the pictures from that day. The guitar is beautiful!
    Thank-you~

  3. Sue says:

    Glenda – what an amazing story. I to suffer from panic disorder for many, many years now. I got through it with my family by my side, unfortunately I also needed meds to help. Reading your story I had tears running down my face as this touched me in so many ways. So many people don’t understand and think it’s something you can just shut off, unfortunately it’s not. Thankfully I am back to living a life. I wish it was without meds, but if that’s what it takes I have to do it. Thanks for sharing your story with others and thanks for sharing your story and so many others with Keith. He is that type of man that will listen to every one of those letters and wouldn’t be surprised if he wrote a song about it. Best of luck and again, thanks for sharing.

  4. Glenda says:

    Meeting Keith was a dream come true, I will forever take meds to live a somewhat normal life, but if that is what it takes so be it, at least it will be somewhat normal. I pray this story, this journey and this DREAM helps others to SHINE and learn to dream and live that dream to the fullest. Life is never easy, but I made this happen by being pushy, and having one connection I happen to get from a friend and my friend BARB never let up on that connection with me, we kept after him and he gave me 4 passes……I don’t know what God has planned for me, but whatever it is I will be ready for it, I pray it is to help others……Keith Urban is a fantastic human being, and I got to find that out for myself…..love him and his music, but love how he loves his family that to me is what makes him so special….

  5. Marlene says:

    Glenda your such an inspiration, you deserve all the goodness..what an amazing story..I know a few years ago it was Keith’s music that saved me from some very dark days..Keith is a one of a kind man..what he’s done for the fans, how he looks out for them, how he care’s about them..your story is proof of that..Glenda when Keith sends you that video of him playing “Shine” on the guitar..I hope you’ll share it with us..God bless you Glenda and God bless Keith

  6. granna says:

    Oh Glenda, I’ve got a huge lump in my throat and tears in my eyes after reading this beautiful story. I’ve also been a fan of Keith’s for a long time..watching him go through his ups and downs and believing that one day he would “shine” as well and we know he does! It’s always uplifting to read stories such as yours to reach out and help others that you don’t know. Glenda, I pray that you will always “shine” as well and know you are not alone…another Keith song..haha! God Bless Glenda and thanks again for this great story.

  7. granna says:

    Oh Glenda, I forgot to say, your cousin Tony did an amazing job on this guitar. I’m sure that will always be a prized possession of Keith’s!

  8. Erin says:

    What an Amazing story and I can absolutely relate in more ways than one. I was at the Ottawa show too!! I have had the privilege of meeting Keith on two occasions and he is unlike anyone (famous or not) that I have ever met. He hugs you like you’re his best friend, he looks at you and listens to you when you’re talking like no one else is in the room. He truly cares. And thats why so many love him. Thank you for sharing your amazing story and I wish you happiness.

    BTW… amazing work on the guitar!!!

  9. Caroline says:

    Glenda, thank you so much for sharing your story and dream. Very emotional and powerful. Beautiful guitar! Never give up, eh. :)

  10. Diana Duran says:

    Glenda you are awe inspiring your story made me cry because it is beautiful …you and everyone who you included are beautiful and Keith Urban is beautiful LOVE this story have been waiting for all details Diana Duran member Keith Urban guitar genius fan club lvdd

  11. bobbisoxd says:

    DREAMS DO COME TRUE MISS GLENDA. I am so so happy that you were able to give Keith the gift, explain to him why and how he has helped you with your disease and to live out that very special dream. Keith has brought so many of us together because of his love of his fans, his music and just the pure genuine humbleness he has. I have had the opportunity to meet Keith several times and each time he has been very sweet and the best part is to see the love he feels that surrounds him not only at home but with the fans. I hope that more people that haven’t met him will have their chance also. It is an experience one never can forget. Tony did an AWESOME AWESOME job on the guitar and I am proud to be a small part of that dream. Love Ya Monkeysista and So Glad We are Friends. HUGS x MILLION.

  12. Barb DeCaprio says:

    I am one of the HONORED” guitar girls “as we now call ourselves , on this guitar! I can’t tell you what an amazing person Glenda is, she inspires ALL of us and we just love her!! It’s been a long road to Keith but a truly amazing one….THANK YOU GLENDA FROM ALL OF US FOR ALLOWING US TO BE A PIECE OF YOUR DREAM COME TRUE……………….xooxoxxo

  13. Glenda Hickey says:

    Keith is still and always will be a fantastic man, some of you have asked for or hoped to see a video of that song with guitar, it has not appeared, he forgot the first time and I mentioned it to him the last time I seen him, , I don’t imagine I ever will get one, but that is Ok……..as long as he enjoys the Guitar that is all that matters, but it would be nice to see it played for all of us to see…life has taken a hard path and my panic attacks have gotten much worse, but I had a dream, and lived it, and that to me if that is all I ever get to do from here on out is fine with me….:)

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