It’s official!Nicki Minaj and Keith Urban will be joining Mariah Careyand Randy Jackson as first-time judges on American Idol! Fox announced that the hip-hop star and the country singer will join Mariah Carey as judges when the show returns this winter. For the record, Mariah Carey has secured a whooping $18 million and is considered the highest paid judge in reality television. It was also announced that Randy Jackson, who has been with the show since the very start, will return as a judge. The official statement, which noted Nicki Minaj’s “unique performance style and iconic fashion”, was released on Sunday. “Minaj became the first female solo artist to have seven singles simultaneously on the Billboard Hot 100 chart,” it read. Cecile Frot-Coutaz, the CEO of “Idol” owner FremantleMedia, said that Minaj, 29, “represents a different side of the music industry, who has now crossed into mainstream culture with her unique artistry, style and flair”. Regarding Keith Urban, Frot-Coutaz said he is “one of country music’s true stars who brings with him charm, wit and knowledge about the industry”. The country singer later said: “It’s really an honor to have been invited to be a part of the American Idol family”. I’m looking forward to working with everyone and to seeing the same passion that I have for music in all of the participants.” During the weekend, Nicki Minaj teased her Twitter followers with a vague promise for” info tmrw…” However, host Ryan Seacrest later confirmed the news with a sweet snapshot of the Idol cast and crew. “It’s official,” he wrote Sunday. Previous American Idol judges include Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul, Kara DioGuard and Ellen DeGenere. Earlier this summer, Fox announced the exit of Idol season 10 and 11 judges Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez, along with the hiring of Carey. Steve Tyler was to first to leave and then it was Jennifer Lopez, too. Amid reports that she was pushed out of American Idol by Fox network, Lopez said that Tyler’s exit from the singing competition was the only reason why she decided to call it quits. After that happened, the network strongly considered shifting Jackson to a mentor role. After quietly selecting Minaj and Urban for slots, Fox recently made an offer to Latin singer-songwriter Enrique Iglesias to fill a fourth spot, but those talks didn’t come through. However, now we have new judges and I bet we are all excited for the new season finale of the American Idol! As always I’m sure it will be a fun show to watch! The 12th season of “American Idol” is set to kick off in January.