'American Idol' kicks off a new season Wednesday, with Keith Urban once again representing country music at the judges' table. Tim McGraw considers Urban a friend, and insists his buddy is a great representation of the genre.

“You know what, he’s one of my favorite people," McGraw says of Urban. "He’s a really good guy, and as far as somebody who represents country music and the face of somebody, and the music of somebody that you would want out there representin’ what you do, he’s certainly somebody that I would want to hold up and put a light on for us.”

McGraw and Urban are friends, but they've also collaborated musically, joining forces with Taylor Swift for 'Highway Don't Care,' a single from McGraw's 'Two Lanes of Freedom' album. Together, they climbed to the top of the Country Airplay charts.

The upcoming season of 'Idol' starts Jan. 7 on FOX. Ryan Seacrest returns as the lovable host, and this season will also feature a special appearance from Big Machine Label Group's Scott Borchetta, who will act as a mentor for hopefuls.

Look for both Keith and McGraw -- along with Toby Keith -- at the 2015 Taste of Country Music Festival in Hunter, N.Y., July 12-14.

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