By Alan Duke
LOS ANGELES (CNN) — Rapper Nicki Minaj and Australian country singer Keith Urban will join the “American Idol” judges panel when the TV competition’s 12th season starts next January, the Fox network said Sunday.
The panel is growing from three to four judges next season, with singer Mariah Carey, hired in July, and “Idol” original Randy Jackson sitting with Minaj and Urban, the network said.
Rocker Steven Tyler and singer Jennifer Lopez left the show at the end of last season, after judging for two seasons.
Jackson’s return was made official earlier this month after weeks of speculation he would move to a mentor role on the show.
Earlier speculation also included the names of Latin singer Enrique Iglesias and former “Idol” champ Adam Lambert as possible judges.
The official announcement noted Minaj’s “unique performance style and iconic fashion.”
“Minaj became the first female solo artist to…
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