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Femi Kuti Joins Nigerian Idol As A Judge

Afrobeat music star, Femi Kuti has been made a judge on the next series of Nigerian Idol. The organisers, Optima Media Group, OMG, made the official announcement Sunday. Tiwa Medubi, the Project Manager, Nigerian Idol said that the acceptance of the Afrobeat legend to join the panel of judges in the
music talent hunt show is a remarkable testament to the power of the Nigerian Idol brand.Kuti’s choice as a judge in the third season of the show is coming after an amazing second season that saw the crowning of Mercy Chinwo as the current Nigerian Idol.
“It’s a whole new package and cycle this season. We keep bringing in new twists and turns to make the show more interesting. Two new cities made the audition train and most exciting is our own living legend, three-time Grammy nominee and Afrobeat king, Femi Kuti, as one of our  judges. We are excited,” Medubi said.
She added that the presence of Femi Kuti is truly a big step forward for the Idol franchise in Nigeria and his input in this season hopefully will definitely take the show to new frontiers.
In his comment, Femi said: “I am honoured to be part of Nigerian Idol, a show that discovers talents across the country in music. Saying I love music is like saying snow is white. I am beyond passionate about music which is why I single handedly taught myself to how to play four instruments. I play the sax twelve hours in a day just to  train myself to get better. So, an opportunity to be able to impact the lives of the future of Nigerian music is one I will never say no to.
“I was very proud when I watched Mercy Chinwo, the last winner, give a remarkable performance of Fela’s ‘Zombie’ when I was a guest judge on the show last season. Many times you see people murder the songs or over act with the moves and make the man look like a caricature but she got it just right with guidance from the coach and judges. I’d like to be part of moulding many more talents with Nigerian Idol, this year.”
The 50-year old Afrobeat star is known to be very conservative, TV shy and rarely leaves the Shrine save for few select performances in Nigeria and while he is on world tour.
Femi is expected to bring to the show a wealth of experience that spans well over three decades of performing across the world, playing six different musical instruments and winning scores of international awards.
He remains one of Africa’s biggest recording artistes.
Femi Kuti has collaborated with musicians, including Common, Mos Def, Jaguar Wright, D’Angelo, Macy Gray, The Soultronics, Nile Rodgers, amongst others.
His voice is featured in the video game ‘Grand Theft Auto IV’, where he is the host of radio station IF 99.
The auditions for the show sponsored by Etisalat, in conjunction with Pepsi continues from 20 October in different cities across Nigeria.
This season’s prize is valued at $100,000 which includes a cash prize of N7.5 million, a recording contract also worth N7.5million and an SUV.

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