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American Idol Adds Jimmy Iovine: The Man, The Myth, The Mentor

jimmy iovineAmidst the big news that Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler were joining American Idol today there was little nugget of interesting information.  Record executive Jimmy Iovine has joined the hit show in the role of in-house mentor (kinda like the Tim Gunn of singing!).

While JLo and Tyler are set to become the ‘faces of the entertainment competition, Iovine will be backstage offering the music industry credibility left by the exits of Simon Cowell and Kara Dioguardi. 

Who exactly is Jimmy Iovine and why do we want him on Idol?

Jimmy Iovine is an old-school record producer and recording industry executive who has been earning his music credentials since 70s.   He started out as a recording engineer working with Bruce Springsteen and John Lennon.  His success brought a flood of high profile clients including U2, Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, Stevie Nicks, Dire Straits, and many more. 

 In 1990, Iovine branched out on his own co-founding Interscope Records.  The label ultimately became a part of Interterscope-Geffen-A&M with Iovine taking the role of chairman in 2001.  His recent high profile hits have come from Eminem and 50 Cent.

Rather than offer Simon’s cutting critique onstage, Iovine will offer a behind the scenes voice to help improve the contestants’ weekly performances.   

“I’m looking forward to working as a mentor on the show, where I’ll work with the talent to help them develop and grow week to week,” Iovine says in a press release. “This will also give the audience a deeper look into the artists’ abilities and give viewers more insight when making their choices.”

For his role, Iovine has grabbed up the rights for Interscope Geffen A&M to act as the distributor for winning Idol’s music.

Iovine is father to four children with his former wife, model Vicki Iovine, who also happens to be the author of The Girlfriend’s Guide to Pregnancy.

Photo: PR Photos

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