The Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin, is throwing her hat into the ring as “American Idol” producers begin a search for new judges. Just days after Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler announced their plans to exit the Fox show after two seasons, Franklin is expressing interest in taking on the gig. The 70-year-old singer responded to a recent e-mail question that asked whether she was interested in joining “Idol” as a judge or a mentor. She said, “Yes I am interested as a judge!” “Idol” producers have yet to comment.
Tyler announced on Thursday that he would not return for a third season of the singing competition, saying he was going to re-focus on his band Aerosmith. A day later, Lopez told “Idol” host Ryan Seacrest on his radio show that she too was heading toward the exit door. The future of original “Idol” judge Randy Jackson is unclear. Jackson has been with the show since its first season in 2002 when he shared the panel with Simon Cowell and Paula Abdul. Cowell left “Idol” in 2010 to launch “The X Factor.” Abdul left the show in 2009.