'American Idol' Kris Allen still has a big fan in Keith Urban

keith-urban-kris-allen-320.jpg Kris Allen can count on at least one music superstar -- Keith Urban -- if he needs anything for his resume.

The eighth-season winner of FOX's  "American Idol" has performed (including on the Season 8 finale) with the country staple, who has only good words for the relative newcomer.

"We've done a few shows, and we have a couple more coming up," Urban tells Zap2it. "He's great! I love him. He's just got a good, real singer-songwriter vibe about him, and he's really finding his own way. He has a great voice and a good heart, and I like him immensely."

Three-time Grammy winner Urban considers the "American Idol" approach valid.

"Every artist is going to find his way, and you never know how it's going to come. I was just reading about Christina Perri, this girl who recorded one song, and somebody slipped her demo to the producers of 'So You Think You Can Dance.' They used it for one of the dance sequences, and the next day, it sold 100,000 copies. She's off and running now.

"It's amazing how it happens, but ultimately, I think there's no quick road to learning your craft. If you can get on something like 'American Idol' and launch your career, though, have at it. It's a different world these days, and I think you have to take any opportunity that comes."

As he and actress wife Nicole Kidman continue to celebrate having their year-old daughter Sunday, Urban is starting work on his follow-up album to 2009's "Defying Gravity," in and around summer touring that has involved concerts with the Eagles and will reteam Urban with John Mayer (his partner on a recent CMT "Crossroads" special) before it's over.

"I can already see it's going to be a great bunch of songs," the New Zealand-born, Australia-raised talent says. "We do a little Backstage Experience at our shows, and someone said the other night, 'Can you play us something you're working on?' I played them an acoustic bit of something, but we only have a limited time to play [on stage], and I want to make sure we cover all the songs people really want to hear."

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