American Idol
Nicki Minaj and Keith Urban have officially joined the American idol judging panel

Rapper Nicki Minaj and country singer Keith Urban have officially joined the American Idol judging panel.

The duo replace Jennifer Lopez and Aerosmith singer Steve Tyler who announced their departure this summer.

They will now team up with Mariah Carey and long-standing judge Randy Jackson for the next series of the talent show.

Show host Ryan Seacrest confirmed the news to fans by posting a snap of himself alongside the new four-member panel.

He accompanied the image with the message: "It's official, your new #IdolJudges are @MariahCarey, @NickiMinaj, @KeithUrban & @Yo_RandyJackson! "

The announcement comes after months of speculation about the possibility of Minaj joining Idol for its 12th season.

There have been rumours that diva Carey was in dispute with the Young Money rapper, and did not like the idea that she was a contender to join the judging panel.

While Carey, will reportedly receive $18 million (£11.5m) for her one-year contract, Minaj is said to have inked a deal with show bosses for $8million (£4.9m).

A number of established and upcoming stars including Kanye West, Brad Paisley and Enrique Iglesias had previously been linked to the role.

The series will return in January for its 12th season.