Keith Urban Joins American Idol; Merge Signs William Tyler; Kings of Leon To Be Inducted to Music City Walk of Fame [Newsy Bits]

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Australian Idol
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In a headline published today, The Christian Science Monitor asks if American Idol has jumped the shark by signing every country music fan's favorite Nashvillian by way of a Land Down Under, Keith Urban, and current reigning Queen of Pop Nicki Minaj as judges.

Allow me to editorialize a bit and answer with a bold, all-caps NO. Urban and Minaj have, both individually and between them, more than the single ounce of talent it would take to upstage the combined hackery of past judges Steven Tyler, JLO and Paula Abdul, in whose talent-less footsteps they follow. I mean, really, unless you’re trying to learn how to trade verses with MC Scat Cat, wouldn’t you rather take a singing lesson from Keith Urban than Paul Abdul?

Even though American Idol’s ratings have declined in a post-Abdul, post-Cowell world, I’d say that, until the show signs on Mel Gibson, Lindsay Lohan and a via-satellite-from-hoosegow Phil Spector as judges, it’s a little hyperbolic to talk shark jumping.

In could-not-be-more-unrelated news: Nashville’s favorite indie-rock journeyman guitarist and multi-instrumentalist William Tyler has signed to indie-rock legacy label Merge Records. The label (also home to Lambchop, of which Tyler is a longstanding sometime-member) will release Tyler’s sophomore solo effort and follow-up to his critically acclaimed 2010 solo debut, Behold the Spirit, in 2013. The album’s exact release date and title are still TBA.

And lastly, in other local music news, Nashville’s biggest blood-related international rock stars, Kings of Leon, are the latest inductees to the Music City Walk of Fame. The rockers join the ranks of previous inductees such as Garth Brooks, Martina McBride, Les Paul and American Idol judge Keith Urban. This makes the Followills the first rock 'n' roll band to receive the honor, which Music City, Inc. will make official at a free induction ceremony in the downtown Walk of Fame Park this Friday, Sept. 21, at 1 p.m.

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