Apr 14, 2010 1:11 PM

New Tonight Show music director comes from "Idol"

NBC announced Wednesday it has named Emmy Award nominee Rickey Minor as the new music director of "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno" Current music director Kevin Eubanks announced on the April 12 show that he is stepping down from the #1 late-night series. 

Minor is expected to make his on-air debut as the new music director on "The Tonight Show" on Monday, June 7.  "It is a privilege for all of us to have Rickey on board," said Debbie Vickers, executive producer of "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno." "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."

Added Minor: "I am honored to be a part of ‘The Tonight Show' legacy."

Minor, who received Emmy nominations for Outstanding Music Direction on the Grammy Awards and "Genius: A Night for Ray Charles," also is a musician, composer, producer and author. His book, "There's No Traffic on the Extra Mile," shared his recollections of collaborating with such noted musical stars as Whitney Houston, Christina Aguilera, Alicia Keys, Ray Charles and Beyonce.

As music director of "American Idol," Minor helps contestants reach their potential as they strive to attain their dream of winning the ultimate prize. Minor will continue to consult and work with "American Idol" creator Simon Fuller on various projects.




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