American Idol

American Idol is an American reality-competition show airing on Fox. It debuted on June 11, 2002, and it has since become one of the most popular shows on American television. Part of the Idol franchise, it originated from the reality program Pop Idol created by British entertainment executive Simon Fuller, which was first aired in 2001 in the United Kingdom.

The program seeks to discover the best singer in the country through a series of nationwide auditions. The outcomes of the later stages of this competition are determined by public voting by phone. The format features three judges who give critiques of the contestants' performances: record producer Randy Jackson; pop singer and choreographer Paula Abdul; and music executive Simon Cowell. The show is hosted by former children's game show emcee and television personality Ryan Seacrest; comedian Brian Dunkleman co-hosted with Seacrest during the first season. The American Idol band is led by Rickey Minor. The show usually airs on Tuesday and Wednesday nights in the US and Thursday and Friday nights in the UK. In its seven seasons, its winners have been Kelly Clarkson, Ruben Studdard, Fantasia Barrino, Carrie Underwood, Taylor Hicks, Jordin Sparks and David Cook. Hicks was the oldest winner at 29, Sparks the youngest at just 17.

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