It’s Official: Keith Urban Joins ‘American Idol’ Judging Panel
Nicki Minaj Also Set To Be One Of The Show’s Four Judges
“American Idol” producers confirmed today that Keith Urban, as well as Nicki Minaj, would be joining the judging panel for the show’s 12th season, which debuts in January 2013. They will join longtime judge Randy Jackson and previously announced newcomer Mariah Carey as the show returns to a four-judge format.
“It’s really an honor to have been invited to be a part of the ‘American Idol’ family,” Urban says in a prepared statement. “I’m looking forward to working with everyone and to seeing the same passion that I have for music in all of the participants.”
Contestants will meet host Ryan Seacrest and the new judging panel today, when the auditions begin in New York. Other audition cities will include Los Angeles; Chicago; Charlotte, N.C.; San Antonio; Baton Rouge, La.; and Oklahoma City.
As previously tipped here last month, Minaj is rumored to be earning double Urban’s salary on the show. Urban is a four-time Grammy Award winner who has sold more than 15 million albums. He has been named male vocalist of the year three times and entertainer of the year once by the Country Music Association. He previously served as a judge on the Australian version of “The Voice” last season.
Mike Darnell, Fox Broadcasting Company’s president of alternative entertainment, says of Urban, “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.”
about the blogger
Veteran entertainment journalist Phyllis Stark has been reporting extensively on the music industry for two decades. As a freelance writer, her work appears regularly in numerous publications and sites. She previously was Nashville Bureau Chief at Billboard magazine.