'American Idol' Judge Harry Connick Jr. on Keith Urban and Jennifer Lopez: 'We All Come From the Same School of Hard Work'

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Harry Connick, Jr. attends the "American Idol XIV" Photo Call at New York Marriott Brooklyn Bridge on September 17, 2014 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. 

Harry Connick Jr. splits his second year as a judge alongside Jennifer Lopez and Keith Urban on American Idol (which returned for its 14th season in January) with a 24-date North American tour that launched Feb.  4. So how does the 47-year-old singer manage the multi­tasking madness, whether he's in his Idol dressing room or on the tour bus? With a little help from these backstage essentials.

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"I have a streak going -- I don't miss a day of exercise. But I rarely go to gyms; I usually swing kettlebells I carry on the road."

Preshow Playtime
"We're all good friends. I'll stop by Keith's trailer or say hi to Jen. We go out to dinner. Sometimes in this ­business you show up to work with people and, frankly, it's a drag. But with them, it's fun. We all come from the same school of hard work."

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His MacBook Pro
"I write all my music on a computer. We use a system of reading music that I got a patent for, the Connick Music System. It makes reading music and getting it from my computer to the musicians much faster."

Quiet Time
"I don't like a bunch of people backstage -- I like to get into my zone. I'm usually thinking about my show because I don't really plan out what's going to ­happen. It's not choreographed. I don't know what the hell it's going to be!"

No Booze, Please
"I don't drink. I don't do anything that would be harmful to my body, because people are paying a lot of money to see you perform at your best."

This story originally appeared in the Feb. 14 issue of Billboard.