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Posted: Sep 17, 2012 1:05 AM

Updated: Sep 17, 2012 1:05 AM

MORNING PREP - MORNING PREP - MORNING PREP - MORNING PREP

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! COUNTRY !

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KEITH URBAN JOIN "AMERICAN IDOL"

NEW YORK (AP) Keith Urban is getting a seat at the table -- the judges' table on "American Idol." Urban and Nicki Minaj were officially announced as the new judges yesterday by Fox. They'll be joining Mariah Carey as this season's freshmen judges. Randy Jackson will stay on as the sole remaining original "Idol" judge. "American Idol" returns for its 12th season in January.

Sound:

<> 00:30 "''

Sandy Kozel, AP correspondent

The "American Idol" judges panel is now complete. AP correspondent Sandy Kozel reports.

<> 00:06 "its a presence"

Nicki Minaj (mih-NAHJ'), singer-rapper, new 'American Idol' judge, arriving at Lincoln Center for first round of auditions

New 'American Idol' judge Nicki Minaj says she'll be looking for a superstar.

<> 00:11 "afraid at all"

Nicki Minaj (mih-NAHJ'), rapper-singer, new 'American Idol' judge, arriving at Lincoln Center for first round of auditions

New 'American Idol' judge Nicki Minaj is asked whether contestants should sing her songs.

<> 00:16 "right and wrong"

Keith Urban, country singer and new 'American Idol' judge, arriving at Lincoln Center for first round of auditions

New 'American Idol' judge Keith Urban says he plans to be authentic, but not cruel.

<> 00:13 "the nice one"

Mariah Carey, new 'American Idol' judge, arriving at Lincoln Center for the first round of auditions

Mariah Carey says she's still working out her judging style.

<> 00:14 "the right direction"

Mariah Carey, new 'American Idol' judge, arriving at Lincoln Center for first round of auditions

Mariah Carey says her experience should help her be a good 'American Idol' judge.

<> 00:31 "''

Excerpt of "American Idol" theme

Excerpt of "American Idol" theme. The show is adding Nicki Minaj and Keith Urban as judges.

DOLLY PARTON SLOT MACHINES

LAS VEGAS (AP) Dolly Parton will soon cheer Las Vegas gamblers on at the slot machine. Parton is teaming up with International Game Technology to feature some of her chart-topping hits in video slot and five-reel spinning reel games. The "Dolly Parton Video Slots" will debut during the Global Gaming Expo Oct. 2-4 in Las Vegas.

BRANDI CARLILIE MARRIES

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) Brandi Carlile made it official with her partner Catherine Shepherd. The couple married in a small ceremony Saturday in Boston. They plan to hold two more celebrations: a large reception Sept. 28 outside Seattle, where Carlile grew up, and another early next year in London, where Shepherd was raised.

CLINT BLACK, JANA KRAMER ADDED TO ACM HONORS

UNDATED (AP) CMT reports Clint Black, Jana Kramer, Rodney Crowell and Randy Houser will perform at the ACM Honors ceremony. Previously announced performers include Luke Bryan, Dailey and Vincent, Ashley Monroe and Kellie Pickler. The program will honor Emmylou Harris, Ricky Skaggs, Dwight Yoakam, Kenny Chesney, Vince Gill, Alan Jackson, Bobby Braddock and the late Roger Miller. Dierks Bentley will host the ceremony set for Sept. 24 at Nashville's Ryman Auditorium.

ELI YOUNG BAND MEMBER JON JONES EXPECTING

UNDATED (AP) It's plus one for Jon Jones of the Eli Young Band. People Magazine reports he and his wife, Sarah, are expecting a baby boy on Dec. 23. Jones said he was on the road working when his wife sent him a picture of a half-dozen positive pregnancy tests. The college sweethearts got married in January 2011.

MARTINA MCBRIDE ADDS HOLIDAY TOUR DATES

UNDATED (AP) CMT reports Martina McBride will kick off a holiday tour on Nov. 23. "The Joy of Christmas" tour will run until Dec. 21 and make 16 stops including Atlanta, Milwaukee, Pittsburgh and Chicago. But before that, McBride will hit the road in the fall for her "One Night" tour starting in Nashville, Tenn. on Sept. 28.

RICKY SKAGGS, CASEY JAMES, JASON ALDEAN TO PERFORM AT GRANDE OLE OPRY'S BIRTHDAY BASH

UNDATED (AP) A slew of country stars will perform at the Grande Ole Opry's 87th Birthday Concert including Casey James, Jason Aldean, Jimmy Dickens, Rodney Atkins and Steve Wariner. The two-day celebration with concerts, games and food will start on Oct. 5 with a kick-off party. The headline show starring Ricky Skaggs will be held the following day.

KELLY CLARKSON SETTLES IN NASHVILLE

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) Kelly Clarkson is making Nashville, Tenn. her permanent hometown. The Tennessean reports Clarkson is selling her ranch in her native Texas and preparing to buy a house just outside of the city. The paper reports that much of Clarkson's band and team, as well as her boyfriend, are based in Nashville.

CHARLIE DANIELS RE-RECORDS HIT FOR "MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL"

UNDATED (AP) Charlie Daniels and his band are the opening act for ESPN's "Monday Night Football." Country Weekly reports that Daniels and his band re-recorded their hit "The Devil Went Down to Georgia" with new lyrics for the game open. Hank Williams Junior previously sang the theme song until last year.

By Stacy A. Anderson

For the latest country music news from The Associated Press, follow: http://www.twitter.com/AP_Country

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