American Idol – Nicki Minaj is the newest Idol judge and she will reportedly pull in a nice $8 million salary for a one year contract. Australian crooner Keith Urban is also confirmed the join the lineup that already includes Mariah Carey and Randy Jackson.
The new additions, rumored for some time, were announced Sunday by Fox. The quartet was scheduled to attend its first audition session that day in New York – Ryan Seacrest tweeted a photo of the crew.
The panel touches most of the major music bases as Idol, which returns in January, will have its first judges with backgrounds in rap and country. Minaj, 29, known for explicit, animated lyrics and sexy, outlandish costumes, has seen her career powered by two hit albums, Pink Friday (2010) and Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded (2012). The Starships singer uses several alter egos in her rhymes and has a base of rabid fans who call themselves “Barbies.”
Grammy winner Urban, 44, who last week announced he was bowing out of Australian’s version of The Voice, released his sixth studio album, Get Closer, in 2010. It follows 2009’s platinum-selling Defying Gravity. The Nashville-based singer, married to actress Nicole Kidman, was born in New Zealand and raised in Australia.
When rumors initially surfaced of Minaj signing on it was believed that the diva Carey was not on board. Producers may be hoping this underlying tension will play itself out for the cameras and may equal to higher ratings – after all that’s the name of the game.
Carey can at least sleep at night knowing she’s the highest paid judge on the show with an $18 million salary. Urban is expected to make $4 million, Seacrest’s salary of $15 million is expected to remain the same. Randy’s salary has long been kept secret but was long believed he makes just under $10M, its unclear if there was an increase following the new negotiations.
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