Nicki Minaj & Keith Urban Officially Join American Idol

From left: Mariah Carey, Randy Jackson, Nicki Minaj and Keith Urban

Getty (2); WireImage; StarTraks

updated 09/16/2012 AT 10:00 AM ET

originally published 09/16/2012 AT 11:30 AM ET

It’s official! Mariah Carey will be in good company at the American Idol judges’ table.

In addition to familiar face Randy Jackson, Carey will be joined by Nicki Minaj and Keith Urban on the panel when the singing competition’s 12th season debuts in January, Fox announced Sunday.

“It’s really an honor to have been invited to be a part of the American Idol family,” Urban, 44, says. “I’m looking forward to working with everyone and to seeing the same passion that I have for music in all of the participants.”

Minaj, 29, whose addition to the show was buzzed-about last month, teased her Twitter followers earlier in the weekend with a vague promise for “info tmrw ”

Host Ryan Seacrest later confirmed the news with a sweet snapshot of the Idol cast and crew. “It’s official,” he wrote Sunday.

The announcement ties up yet another Idol casting shakeup that saw the departure of Jennifer Lopez and rocker Steven Tyler after two seasons.

Freshly minted judge Carey, who will reportedly rake in about $18 million for the season, Tweeted in July, “I’m excited to help find and nurture new talent.”

Aspiring superstars will meet the four-person panel when auditions begin Sunday in New York City.

The American Idol judges with host Ryan Seacrest

Courtesy of Ryan Seacrest


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