Salisbury JournalNicki and Keith new Idol judges (From Salisbury Journal)

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Nicki and Keith new Idol judges

Salisbury Journal: Nicki Minaj and Keith Urban have been announced as new American Idol judges (AP) Nicki Minaj and Keith Urban have been announced as new American Idol judges (AP)

The American Idol judges' panel is now complete with the naming of singer-rapper Nicki Minaj and country crooner Keith Urban.

The Fox network officially welcomed the pair with an announcement on Sunday, just hours before the first round of judging for next season was due to begin in New York.

The announcement also settles the status of Randy Jackson. He will stay put as the sole remaining original Idol judge, scotching rumours of a different role for him on the popular talent competition.

This trio joins newcomer Mariah Carey on a judges' panel now expanded to four members from its previous three.

They fill vacancies left by Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez, who announced their exits in July.

American Idol returns for its 12th season in January.

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