November 15, 2013 04:55 PM

Only a few years ago, reigning CMA female vocalist of the year Miranda Lambert was opening for Keith Urban.

Both stars now headline their own tours, but the two pair back up on Urban’s latest single, “We Were Us,” debuting Friday at 7:30 p.m. on his Facebook page, followed by a chat with the musician.

“Getting to work with Keith in the studio was awesome,” Lambert, 30, says. “He’s been someone that’s inspired me along the way.”

That admiration and respect goes both ways, PEOPLE Country’s latest cover star says.

“She’s the real deal,” Urban, 46, says. “I just love her artistry.”

Recording a duet together was a given, but only “if the right song ever came along.” Luckily, it did.

“When I heard ‘We Were Us,’ it was instant. I had two thoughts. The first [was] ”This is that song’ and the second – ‘Man, I sure hope she says yes!’ ” Urban jokes.

Thankfully, Lambert did.

For more on Keith Urban, pick up the new issue of PEOPLE Country, on newsstands now.

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