Minaj, Urban take 'Idol' judging seats

Sept. 16, 2012 at 12:56 PM

NEW YORK, Sept. 16 (UPI) -- Rapper Nicki Minaj and country star Keith Urban will join Randy Jackson and Mariah Carey as judges on the 12th season of "American Idol," Fox Broadcasting said.

The show's first-ever, four-judge panel will join host Ryan Seacrest in New York, where auditions take place Sunday and Monday, then travel to Los Angeles, Chicago, Charlotte, San Antonio, Baton Rouge and Oklahoma City, Fox said in a statement Sunday.

The 12th season begins in January.

Minaj is a multi-platinum singer, songwriter and rapper. Urban, married to actress Nicole Kidman, is a four-time Grammy award-winner.

"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," Mike Darnell, Fox Broadcasting Co.'s president of alternative entertainment, said in a statement.

Minaj, 29, posted news about the New York auditions on her Twitter page Sunday: "New York auditions today & tomorrow! See ya there barbz!!!!!!!!!"

Urban, 44, called it an "honor" to be part of the "Idol" family, People magazine reported.

"I'm looking forward to working with everyone and to seeing the same passion that I have for music in all of the participants," he said.

The announcement ends questions about the "Idol" judging panel following the departures of singer-actress Jennifer Lopez and Aerosmith front man Steven Tyler last year after two seasons.

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