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Nicki Minaj and Keith Urban join American Idol as judges

  • Rapper Nicki Minaj and country singer Keith Urban will join the judges’ panel on the next series of American Idol.

    Fox television made the announcement before the first round of auditions were set to take place in New York.

    The duo replace Jennifer Lopez and Aerosmith frontman Steve Tyler, both of whom left the show earlier this year.

    Mariah Carey and Randy Jackson round up the panel on the talent show, which has seen its ratings fall over the last few seasons.

    Audiences for the last series, the eleventh, were down about 30. The season finale drew 21.5 million viewers, a record low, to watch Phillip Phillips win.

    Randy Jackson is the sole returning judge. He has been with the show since its start in 2002, when he shared the judging panel with the Simon Cowell and Paula Abdul.

    American Idol returns for its 12th series in January.