Sep 17, 2012 / 3:00 pm
The "American Idol" judges' panel is now complete with the naming of singer-rapper Nicki Minaj and country crooner Keith Urban.
U.S. television network Fox officially tapped the pair with an announcement Sunday, confirming rumours surrounding them both just hours before the first round of auditions for next season was due to begin in New York.
The announcement also settled the status of Randy Jackson. He will stay put as the sole remaining original "Idol" judge, scotching rumours he might assume a different role on the popular talent competition.
This trio will join pop star Mariah Carey at a judges' panel now expanded to four members from its previous three.
Arriving at Lincoln Center, where the auditions would take place, Urban hailed "Idol" for its "great history of producing real stars."
As an "Idol" judge, he said he plans to be "authentic" but not cruel.
"I did similar shows when I was very young in Australia," he recalled, "and I was sort of crucified by one judge. So I don't know that I'll ever be THAT guy."
The makeup of the judges has been in flux since Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez announced their exits in July. Carey signed on later that month.
Ryan Seacrest will remain as host when the show returns for its 12th season in January.
"I am thrilled about this year's judges panel," said Mike Darnell, Fox president of Alternative Entertainment. "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" is looking for its famous new faces to supercharge a show that remains a ratings leader but has seen its viewership and pop-culture clout erode in recent seasons in an increasingly crowded talent show field. Besides "The X Factor," which recently added Britney Spears and Demi Lovato as judges, there's "The Voice," which boasts Christina Aguilera among its big names.
Minaj, 29, is known for her colorful hairstyles, wardrobe and antics. A native of Trinidad who grew up in New York, she has scored with hits like "Starships," "Turn Me On," and "Super Bass," her seventh single, which has sold more than 4 million copies.
She is the first female solo artist to have seven singles simultaneously on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. She released her second studio album, "Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded," in April, and since then it has sold 1 million copies worldwide.
The 44-year-old Urban has four Grammy Awards and 14 No. 1 hits, and was named Male Vocal Artist of the Year three times, as well as Entertainer of the Year, by the Country Music Association. His latest CD, "Get Closer," has produced three consecutive No. 1 singles.
The New Zealand native is married to Australia-born film star Nicole Kidman.
Read more Entertainment News
WEST KELOWNA MOVIES
- Kelowna Rotary Centre For The Arts
- Kelowna Sunshine Theatre
- Kelowna Community Theatre
- Kelowna Actor's Studio
- Theatre Kelowna
- Kelowna Summer Theatre Festival
- Shakespeare Kelowna Theatre
- Vernon Powerhouse Theatre
- Penticton Many Hats Theatre Company
- Armstrong Asparagus Community Theatre
- Armstrong Caravan Farm Theatre
- Kelowna Rotary Centre For The Arts
- Chamber Music Kelowna
- Okanagan Festival Singers
- Okanagan Symphony
- Okanagan Jazz & Blues Society
- Ballet Kelowna
- Vernon Jazz Society
- Summerland Singers and Players
- Festivals Kelowna
- Parks Alive!
FILM / RADIO [+]
- Lindsay Lohan sued for $5 million
- January Jones will keep son's father secret
- Mila Kunis introduces Ashton Kutcher to parents
- Harry Styles loves cleaning
- Jennifer Aniston cried for Angelina
- Bieber's monkey now German property
- Spotify's Top 10 most viral tracks
- Local Scene Heats Up
- Entertainment Week in Review
- Beyonce Knowles pregnant?
- Miranda Kerr's underwear stolen
- Country star Travis sues to block video
(Click for RSS instructions.)