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‘American Idol’ Season 13 Judges Announced

Keith Urban
Frazer Harrison, Getty Images

Country music fans already knew that Keith Urban was returning to his role as a judge on ‘American Idol‘ this season. Now the country superstar’s fellow Season 13 judges have been revealed.

Urban is the only judge from the iconic reality singing competition’s twelfth season, Fox confirmed Tuesday (Sept. 3). Nicki Minaj and Mariah Carey both announced they would not be back at the end of last season, amid rumors that Fox was going to fire them.

Season 11 judge Jennifer Lopez is returning to her judge’s chair for the upcoming season, confirming rumors that have been circulating all summer. Joining Urban and Lopez is jazz musician and singer-actor Harry Connick, Jr., who did a brief stint last season as a mentor for runner-up Kree Harrison.

Randy Jackson is also back for the new season, but he won’t be judging. The longtime ‘Idol’ staple will now serve as the in-house mentor for all of the contestants.

Urban is excited for the new season, which begins in January. ”I think this season of ‘Idol’ is gonna be a blast,” he says in a press release. “New team, new energy and a whole new field of artists to be discovered and given a chance!”

Host Ryan Seacrest says the upcoming season will be special. “I couldn’t be prouder to be a part of the ‘American Idol’ XIII family. Our new producers, judging panel and mentor are all fired up for this season,” he states, adding, “I’ve already witnessed some amazingly talented contestants from around the country during our early auditions, cementing my belief that a new superstar is well within our sights.”

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