After weekend reports emerged claiming rap star Nicki Minaj was in talks to become involved with reality show “The X-Factor,” executive producer Simon Cowell has confirmed the hype.
In addition to Minaj, Cowell shared his input on ex-Island Def Jam president L.A. Reid taking part on the show.
“I think it’s incredible to have a talent like L.A. on the show, it only brings more credibility and excitement to The X-Factor. He’s arguably one of the greatest hit-makers in the world,” Cowell said in an interview. “He was one of my first choices to bring on. After years in the music industry, you have look at who has continued to stay relevant — I’m just extremely happy that L.A. will be joining me. He’s really almost like a producer on the show, now…We’ve spoken to [Nicki] but we’ve met so many people that’s it’s just a long, exhausting process that we have to deal with. It’ll be announced in the next week. We were actually introduced a few weeks ago.” (VIBE)
Over the weekend, rumors emerged linking Minaj and Cowell.
The Young Money raptress is reportedly in talks with Simon Cowell to be a judge on the U.S. edition of his talent competition “The X Factor”. The Harajuku Barbie met with Cowell in Los Angeles a few weeks ago. The hip-hop diva’s casting as a judge would help the show appeal to a younger and more diverse audience. She is currently touring the country with Lil Wayne and nothing has been finalized. (Rap-Up)
An inside source also provided insight on Minaj’s speculated power move.
“Nicki has a large following and she fits well with the ethos of the show, which plans to usher in a new generation of musical talent. ‘X Factor’ is aiming for a younger audience. Those aged 12 and over can audition, and [the English version has] launched successful artists from other genres of music than pop…This isn’t a done deal yet, but Nicki would be great for the show. She fits the ideal that ‘X Factor’ will be exciting, vibrant and different. And the show would also be great for her career.” (New York Post)
Last week, it was reported L.A. Reid’s “X-Factor” choice ultimately motivated his decision to leave Island Def Jam.
Island Def Jam will continue to be run by Steve Bartels. Barry Weiss, the former Sony Music executive joining Universal Music Group this month, is expected to add oversight of Island Def Jam to his duties. The question remains, however, whether Reid will eventually join his former Universal boss Doug Morris, who becomes CEO of Sony Music on July 1. Sony Music has vested interest in the competition: Recordings of the show’s contestants will be controlled by Simon Cowell’s Syco and Sony Music and the winner will receive a $5 million contract with Sony Music. Auditions begin March 27 in Los Angeles. (Billboard)
Check out a recent Nicki Minaj interview down below: