*Famed music director Rickey Minor will leave his post at “American Idol” to replace Kevin Eubanks on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.”
Eubanks announced Monday that his last day on “Tonight” will be May 28. In an announcement Tuesday, NBC said Minor is expected to begin his run on June 7.
“We couldn’t be more excited,” said Debbie Vickers, “Tonight” executive producer, according to the Associated Press. She said the show “has a long tradition of acclaimed musicians in this role, and it’s great to now include Rickey alongside Kevin and Branford (Marsalis).”
The current season of “American Idol” ends in late May, after which Minor will continue to consult with “Idol” creator Simon Fuller on various projects, NBC said.
Minor has also served as music director of the Super Bowl, the Grammy Awards and “The NAACP Image Awards.”
His 2009 book, “There’s No Traffic on the Extra Mile,” shares his recollections of collaborating with such performing artists as Whitney Houston, Christina Aguilera, Alicia Keys, Ray Charles and Beyonce.