American Idol

American Idol Judges

Looking for the latest on the American Idol judges? We have all the latest American Idol judges gossip, news, spoilers and more!


There have been quite a few American Idol judges over the years, changing from season to season. In the current season, American Idol 2013 Season 12, the judges' panel consists of returning veteran Randy Jackson, and new judges Nicki Minaj, Mariah Carey, Keith Urban.


Randy Jackson is currently the only one out of all American Idol judges who has been a judge for every season the show has been on the air. Of the three original American Idol judges, he is the only one to have remained on the show past Season 9. Radio DJ Stryker was originally chosen as a fourth original American Idol judge, but decided to drop out over "image concerns," according to Yahoo! Music.


American Idol 2013 Judges:

Who is Randy Jackson?

American Idol judge Randy Jackson was born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and began playing bass guitar at 13. He has collaborated with everyone from Bob Dylan to Herbie Hancock, but it was his stint with iconic band Journey that launched his career.

The music veteran spent years at Columbia and MCA Records before getting into TV production.

Randy has written two books – one on making it in the music biz and another about his struggle with type 2 Diabetes. He lives in LA with his wife, Erika, and children, Zoe and Jordan. Click here for our full Randy Jackson biography.


Who is Nicki Minaj?

Born Onikia Tanya Maraj in Saint James, Port of Spain, rapper and American Idol judge Nicki Minaj was raised in Jamaica Queens, NY. The 30-year-old starlet, who has become as well known for her outrageous outfits as her outspoken nature, attended performing arts school.

After initial success with three mixtapes released in 2007, Nicki was signed to Young Money Entertainment. Her debut album, Pink Friday, was certified platinum a month after its release. The follow-up CD, Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded, became one of the best-selling albums of 2012. Nicki became the first solo artist to have seven singles on the Billboard Hot 100 simultaneously.

Named on MTV’s Annual Hottest MC List and as The New York Times’ “most influential rappers of all time,” Nicki has become known on American Idol 2013 for her flirtatious attitude, lax arrival times, and “NickiNames”. Click here for our full Nicki Minaj biography.

Who is Mariah Carey?

Mariah Carey, or “Mimi” as she has become known, was born in Long Island, New York, on March 27, 1969. The iconic pop singer has a unique heritage, as her mother is Irish-American while her father is African-American/Venezuelan.

The buxom American Idol judge made her debut with “Mariah Carey,” which entered the charts at #73 in 1990, and eventually reached #1. By April of 2008, Mariah’s single, “Touch My Body,” became her 18th #1 single, which pushed her ahead of Elvis Presley, who had 17 #1 singles. She is now the only artist since The Beatles to have as many #1 singles and the only singer alive that will likely exceed them.

The five-time Grammy-Award winner has added two big accolades to her already impressive list -- wife and mother. After dating only six weeks, Mariah married TV host Nick Cannon in the Bahamas on April 30, 2008. Their twins, Moroccan and Monroe (or “‘Roc” and “‘Ro”), were born on their third wedding anniversary. Click here for our full Mariah Carey biography.


Who is Keith Urban?

Keith Urban was born in Whangarei, New Zealand, but was raised in Australia since he was two years old. He released a self-titled debut album Down Under in 1991, and moved to the U.S. in 1992.

The American Idol judge made his solo American debut in 1999 with Keith Urban, which was certified platinum and produced his first American #1. Keith has a total of 9 studio albums and has charted more than 15 singles. His latest album, Get Closer, is his most personal. As he put it, “I felt a tremendous sense of balance in my life, as a husband and a father and a musician who gets to go and try to capture all that and harness it and create something.”


Before becoming part of the panel on Idol, Keith was a judge on the Aussie version of The Voice for one season. He is married to fellow Aussie and actress Nicole Kidman, and is father to two daughters, Sunday Rose and Faith Margaret. Click here for our full Keith Urban biography.


Here is the breakdown of the rest of the American Idol judges of past seasons:

American Idol Season 11: Jennifer Lopez, Steven Tyler, Randy Jackson

American Idol Season 10: Jennifer Lopez, Steven Tyler, Randy Jackson

American Idol Season 9: Simon Cowell, Kara DioGuardi, Ellen DeGeneres, Randy Jackson

American Idol Season 8: Simon Cowell, Kara DioGuardi, Paula Abdul, Randy Jackson

American Idol Seasons 1 through 7: Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul, Randy Jackson

Throughout the years, there have also been a variety of guest judges in various seasons. These have included: Lionel Richie and Robin Gibb in Season 2. Donna Summer and Quentin Tarantino in Season 3. Gene Simmons and LL Cool J in Season 4. Jewel and Olivia Newton-John in Season 6. Neil Patrick Harris, Shania Twain, Victoria Beckham, Avril Lavigne and Katy Perry in Season 9.

 Who is your favorite among the American Idol judges past and present?



Our Partners

You Might Like

Register now to become a Wetpaint VIP

Perks include access to all Wetpaint content, secret links to exclusive video, and best of all, points earnings and rewards from our partner, Viggle.

Tell me more or sign me up (just click below)