Image Courtesy CMAKeith Urban was devastated when Nicole Kidman‘s father, Antony, died suddenly in September after suffering a fall.

“I can’t even describe what that moment was like for our family,” Keith says. “I was very, very close to Nic’s dad. It’s very fresh. It’s very recent.”

Keith was scheduled to go to New York City for American Idol auditions at the time of Antony’s death, but Fox allowed him to skip the auditions.

Says Keith, “It was an amazing thing that a TV network would step in and say, ‘Don’t you worry. You be with your family. You’ve gotta be there. We’ll figure out a way to cover all of this. Don’t worry about it.’ I don’t take those things for granted.”

Former American Idol contestant Adam Lambert stepped in for Keith at the auditions. Keith also thanks his fans for understanding that he had to cancel some concerts due to the death.

He says, “It was an amazing thing to see that support. So, I was very, very grateful.”

Look for Keith to rejoin Harry Connick, Jr. and Jennifer Lopez at the judges table for the new season of American Idol premiering January 7 on Fox.

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