Country music star Keith Urban and Young Money’s Nicki Minaj will join Mariah Carey and long serving judge Randy Jackson on the 12th season of American Idol.
Minaj and Urban were confirmed by American Idol bosses just hours before auditions are due to begin in New York. Season 12 will kick off in January 2013.
Mike Darnell, president of Fox’s alternative entertainment division said in a statement:
“I am thrilled about this year’s judges’ panel. “Nicki’s an unbelievably captivating international phenomenon who has made an indelible mark on rap and pop. And Keith is another great addition to ‘Idol’ — he’s one of the biggest stars in country music and I know that our fans and contestants will fall in love with him.”
It is thought that negotiations were ongoing until as late as Saturday evening, with producers still unsure of the judges would sign before the first round of auditions.
With the announcement of the new judges, bosses also confirmed Jackson’s status with the show, as it was rumoured that he was also ready to quit the show. Jackson is the only remaining original judge on the show. Aerosmith front man Steven Tyler and singer/actress Jennifer Lopez announced their exits in July, with new judge Mariah Carey confirming her role as judge in the same month.
Season 12 of American Idol will begin in January 2013 on US Network Fox.
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