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Soul singer Candice Glover wins 2013 American Idol

Candice Glover, a soul singer from rural South Carolina, has been crowned American Idol winner, becoming the first female singer to win the television singing competition since 2007.

The 23-year-old defeated country vocalist Kree Harrison in the popular vote with her powerful voice in what judges deemed a close contest to take the title on the show's 12th season.

Last year's final was watched by over 21 million Americans. The show was created by British executive Simon Fuller and directed by compatriot Nigel Lythgoe. Simon Cowell was a judge on the programme between 2002 and 2010.

Randy Jackson to leave American Idol after 12 years

Randy Jackson, the last original judge on 'American Idol' has announced he is leaving the singing competition.

In a statement, he said: To put all of the speculation to rest, after 12 years of judging on American Idol, I have decided to leave after this season.

"I am very proud of how we forever changed television and the music industry."

Randy Jackson is leaving American Idol after 12 years.

The 56-year-old first appeared on the judging panel with Simon Cowell and Paula Abdul when the competition began in 2002.

Since then there have been a number of line-up changes in recent years. He is currently joined by Mariah Carey, country singer Keith Urban and rapper Nicki Minaj.

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Rapper Nicki Minaj and country singer Keith Urban join American Idol

The singer/rapper Nicki Minaj and country singer Keith Urban will be judges on the next series of American Idol, it has been confirmed.

The Fox network made the announcement hour before the first round of auditions were due to take place in New York.

Nicki Minaj performs at the Barclaycard Wireless Festival 2012 at Hyde Park in London.
Nicki Minaj performs at the Barclaycard Wireless Festival 2012 at Hyde Park in London. Credit: Ian West/PA Wire

The pair will replace [Jennifer Lopez and Aerosmith singer Steve Tyler, who quit the show earlier this year.

](http://www.itv.com/news/2012-07-13/american-idol-exodus-steven-tyler-and-jennifer-lopez-quit-show/)

Country star Keith Urban with his wife, the actress Nicole Kidman
Country star Keith Urban with his wife Nicole Kidman Credit: AJM/EMPICS Entertainment

Mariah Carey and Randy Jackson complete the judging line-up.

Reports: Nicki Minaj to join American Idol judging panel

Singer-songwriter Nicki Minaj could soon be joining the judging panel on pop show American Idol, according to NBC News.

Two sources reportedly confirmed the news that the 29-year-old will pass judgement on wannabe music stars alongside Mariah Carey in the 2013 series.

Trinidadian-born American singer Nicki Minaj.
Trinidadian-born American singer Nicki Minaj. Credit: Ian West/PA Wire/Press Association Images

One insider said: "I'm not sure the deal is completely done yet, but yes, she is definitely doing it.

"A few more slight things to sign off on but it is happening."

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](http://theclicker.today.msnbc.msn.com/news/2012/08/20/13377606-singer-nicki-minaj-reportedly-to-be-a-judge-on-american-idol?lite&utma=14933801.993935662.1345472744.1345472744.1345480403.2&utmb=14933801.12.10.1345480403&utmc=14933801&utmx=-&utmz=14933801.1345472744.1.1.utmcsr=(direct)|utmccn=(direct)|utmcmd=(none)&utmv=14933801.|8=Earned%20By=msnbc%7Ccover=1^12=Landing%20Content=Mixed=1^13=Landing%20Hostname=www.nbcnews.com=1^30=Visit%20Type%20to%20Content=Internal%20to%20Mixed=1&utmk=87718552)[There is more on this story at NBC News](http://theclicker.today.msnbc.msn.com/news/2012/08/20/13377606-singer-nicki-minaj-reportedly-to-be-a-judge-on-american-idol?lite&utma=14933801.993935662.1345472744.1345472744.1345480403.2&utmb=14933801.12.10.1345480403&utmc=14933801&utmx=-&_utmz=14933801.1345472744.1.1.utmcsr=(direct)|utmccn=(direct)|utmcmd=(none)&utmv=14933801.|8=Earned%20By=msnbc%7Ccover=1^12=Landing%20Content=Mixed=1^13=Landing%20Hostname=www.nbcnews.com=1^30=Visit%20Type%20to%20Content=Internal%20to%20Mixed=1&_utmk=87718552).

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