Paisley Rumored For “Idol” Judging Slot

Photo: Jim Shea

Brad Paisley: guitar slinging country star, CMA Awards co-host, book author, and next American Idol judge?

According to, Paisley is one of the male personalities currently being considered by American Idol producers for the show’s 12th season. Paisley would fill the role vacated by Steven Tyler, who announced he was leaving the show earlier in July.

“After some long … hard … thoughts … I’ve decided it’s time for me to let go of my mistress ‘American Idol’ before she boils my rabbit,” said Tyler in a statement. “I strayed from my first love, Aerosmith, and I’m back — but instead of begging on my hands and knees, I’ve got two fists in the air and I’m kicking the door open with my band.”

The Paisley rumor follows the big announcement on Monday (7/23) that superstar Mariah Carey has been tapped as the new female Idol judge, replacing the outgoing Jennifer Lopez. Remaining original Idol judge Randy Jackson will reportedly also stay on board.

It could be an important move for Paisley if true, as country stars have benefited greatly from reality TV exposure in recent years. Notably, Blake Shelton broadened his appeal and won America’s heart as a mentor on NBC’s The Voice, and Keith Urban opted for a position with the show’s Australian version. Additionally, Jennifer Nettles of Sugarland recently participated in the first season of Duets, and Martina McBride is currently mentoring participants on the new E! series Opening Act. Celebrity Apprentice winner John Rich will also pop up on The Next: Fame Is At Your Doorstep, which premieres on the CW in fall.


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