Rickey Minor leaving 'Idol' for Leno's 'Tonight Show'
Rickey Minor, musical director for "American Idol" since 2007, will step into Kevin Eubanks' newly vacated shoes over at "The Tonight Show With Jay Leno" starting in June, TMZ reports, with a confirmation from NBC.
Eubanks told Leno during the taping of Monday night's show that, after 18 years, he was definitely moving on. Conan O'Brien compadre Max Weinberg's name had come up in speculation about who'd get the gig, but Team Leno and Team Coco won't mix that way after all. TMZ says the announcement will be made Wednesday on "Idol."
Minor, a producer and composer whose TV credits include the 2008 Grammy Awards and 2010 People's Choice Awards, will join his new band on the air June 7 -- after the "American Idol" season ends May 26. Maybe they can combine his going-away party with Simon Cowell's. Get one cake instead of two.
-- Christie D'Zurilla
Photo: Rickey Minor arrives at the 41st NAACP Image Awards on Feb. 26, 2010, in Los Angeles. Credit: Matt Sayles / Associated Press.