L.A. Reid to Join Cowell's "X Factor"

Simon gets his first judge.

By Michael Preston
|  Thursday, Mar 17, 2011  |  Updated 2:30 AM CDT
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(EXCLUSIVE, Premium Rates Apply) (Exclusive Coverage) LA Reid speaks on stage during the launch of 'Merry Christmas II You' at Allen Room at Lincoln Center on October 20, 2010 in New York City.

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Simon Cowell's making a big splash with his first selection as judge on the forthcoming reality show, "X Factor."

Antonio "L.A." Reid, the current chariman of the Island Def Jam record label, will give up his spot to take a chair on the new Fox program, reports Billboard.

Reid is a judge in Cowell's mold, a proven talent evaluator and hit maker rather than a performer, who has mentored such megastars as Mariah Carey and Usher. He reportedly will let his Def Jam contract lapse this year so that he can judge, rather than re-up his deal.

Reid will eventually be joined by two other hosts and a slew of big names have been connected to the show. Carey, George Michael, Paula Abdul, and Nicole Scherzinger have all been mentioned as possible judges.

Auditions for "The X Factor" start March 27 in Los Angeles and the show airs in September. The grand prize is a $5 million recording contract with Sony Music.

Selected Reading: E! Online, Entertainment Weekly, Billboard

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