Tonight Show Taps American Idol's Rickey Minor as Music Director
The Tonight Show with Jay Leno has tapped American Idol's Rickey Minor to serve as music director.
Idol's music director will replace Kevin Eubanks, who announced his forthcoming departure on Monday's show. Minor will make his on-air debut on Monday, June 7.
Why didn't Jay congratulate Conan?
"It is a privilege for all of us to have Rickey on board," Tonight Show executive producer Debbie Vickers said. "We couldn't be more excited. The Tonight Show has a long tradition of acclaimed musicians in this role and it's great to now include Rickey alongside Kevin and Branford [Marsalis]."
Among those who have filled the role: Skitch Henderson, Milton DeLugg and Doc Severinsen.
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Minor has been mentoring Idol contestants since 2007 and will stay with the show through its current season, which ends May 26. Minor says he will continue to collaborate with Idol creator Simon Fuller on other projects.
A three-time Emmy nominee for his work as musical director of the Grammy Awards, Miner has also served as music director of "The NAACP Image Awards" and the Super Bowl.
"I am honored to be a part of The Tonight Show legacy," he said.
Eubanks has served as band leader of The Tonight Show with Jay Leno since 1995, and followed Leno to his failed prime-time venture, The Jay Leno Show, last year.