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Minaj, Urban near 'Idol' deals

Aug. 26, 2012 at 9:42 AM
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HOLLYWOOD, Aug. 26 (UPI) -- Pop star Nicki Minaj and country singer Keith Urban are close to inking deals as judges for season 12 of "American Idol," The Hollywood Reporter reported.

Minaj had been in talks with producers at Fox, FremantleMedia and CORE Media Group's 19 Entertainment for weeks, but advertising allegiances held things up, the entertainment industry publication reported. Minaj's Pepsi sponsorship had irked "Idol" partner Coke, though the issue has been resolved, the source, whose name was not reported, said.

Minaj could sign a deal worth about $8 million as early as Sunday, the Reporter said.

Urban is expect to take a judge's seat for about $3 million to $4 million, the source said.

Even with Mariah Carey's $18 million salary, the judges' costs represent a pay scale cut compared to previous seasons of "Idol." By Simon Cowell's final season as a judge, he was making $35 million a year, the Reporter said.

Meanwhile, original "American Idol" judge Randy Jackson's fate on the singing contest was still unclear. The source told the newspaper producers weren't sure if the music producer would remain as a fourth judge.

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