Longtime “American Idol” musical director Rickey Minor will return to the show when it premieres on ABC in spring 2018, Variety has confirmed through multiple sources. The bandleader had held the MD title for several seasons of “Idol” during its 15-year tenure at Fox — from 2005 to 2010 and again from 2014 to its “final” season in 2015 — taking a break in between to head up music for “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” (2010 to 2014) after Kevin Eubanks’ departure.
A veteran music producer, who had worked extensively with Whitney Houston, Minor is also a seasoned bass player who has accompanied or directed a number of high-profile music tours, including performers like Beyonce Alicia Keys, and Christina Aguilera. Minor has also been nominated for an Emmy Award on four occasions for his work as a musical director.
At the April premiere of the Clive Davis documentary “The Soundtrack of Our Lives” at the Tribeca Film Festival, Variety asked Minor if he would welcome a return to “Idol,” to which he demurred: “I’m always hopeful… to make music. I had a great time on that show. I’m happy to do it, or I’m happy to move on.”
Katy Perry has signed on to judge the new iteration of “Idol.“ Her panelmates have yet to be determined, however, though the show has discussed a number of well-known music artists including Lionel Richie. A host has not been locked down either, but it’s believed that Ryan Seacrest, who MC’d all 15 seasons of “Idol,” also will return.