American Idol Officially Adds Nicki Minaj & Keith Urban
September 17, 2012
After weeks of speculation, Fox and American Idol have announced that rapper Nicki Minaj and Country star Keith Urban have joined the popular singing competition show as its newest judges. Minaj and Urban join Idol newcomer Mariah Carey and mainstay Randy Jackson at the judges table when the show kicks off its twelfth season in January. Show host Ryan Seacrest will be on board as well.
Minaj and Urban replace Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez, who both spent two years on Idol but stepped down earlier this year.
"I am thrilled about this year’s judges’ panel! We’ve got global icon Mariah Carey and Idol's heart and soul Randy Jackson, who will be joined by Nicki Minaj and Keith Urban. 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," said Mike Darnell, President of Alternative Entertainment, Fox Broadcasting Company. "With an unparalleled star like Mariah, fan-favorite Randy, chart-toppers like Nicki and Keith and our incomparable host Ryan, we’ve put together one of the most exciting judging panels around."
Idol just began filming its first auditions for the new season in New York City, with more auditions slated around the country in the coming weeks.