Rickey Minor to join Tonight Show with Jay Leno

USA TODAY, April 14, 2010

By Frazier Moore, Associated Press
NEW YORK — American Idol music director Rickey Minor is headed for The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.

Minor replaces longtime music director Kevin Eubanks, who on Monday’s show made his May 28 exit date official.

In an announcement Tuesday, NBC said Minor is expected to debut at Tonight on June 7.

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, [he] shares his recollections of collaborating with such performing artists as Whitney Houston, Christina Aguilera, Alicia Keys, Ray Charles and Beyonce.

“We couldn’t be more excited,” said Debbie Vickers, Tonight executive producer. 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).”

Eubanks has been aboard Tonight since Leno took over as host in 1992. He became music director when Marsalis left in 1995, with duties that included strumming the guitar and playing Leno’s comic sidekick. In February, NBC said Eubanks had expressed interest in personal touring and recording.

Rickey Minor featured in USA Today

Traveling with the Stars: American Idol’s Rickey Minor

Rickey Minor is the Emmy-nominated music director of American Idol, which ends its season May 19-20, and his Rickey’s Review segment airs on American Idol Extra each Thursday on Fox Reality Channel. The author of There’s No Traffic on the Extra Mile has traveled extensively to collaborate with recording artists, including Whitney Houston, Christina Aguilera, Alicia Keys, Ray Charles and Beyoncé Knowles, and shares his travel highlights and tips with USA TODAY.

Read full article.

Welcome to the new site!

Welcome to the new online home of Rickey Minor, Music Director, Composer, Producer and now Author! The site will be growing in the coming weeks. Please subscribe to the blog and enjoy the holidays.

Until then, here’s more about Rickey Minor’s new book, There’s No Traffic on the Extra Mile:

The ultimate American Idol insider reveals what it takes to achieve your dreams, recalling his journey from South Central to center stage.

As a highly successful musician and producer, Rickey has worked with some of the world’s most celebrated performers. He knows firsthand that there are reasons why some people succeed, while others fail despite their talent. As American Idol’s music director, Rickey Minor helps contestants reach for their dreams week after week. He’s seen it all behind the scenes at the wildly popular show.

In There’s No Traffic on the Extra Mile, Minor spins stories from his life in the music business into inspirational gold, imparting the lessons he has learned the hard way, including:

  • Always give people more than they were expecting. But remember that you can’t please everyone all the time.
  • Look for mentors. Minor recounts how Quincy Jones became his.
  • Every action moves you either closer or farther away from your aspiration—and how to tell the difference.
  • If you can’t get what you want, it might be because you’re not ready yet. When the time comes, you’ll know.

He also provides behind-the-scenes anecdotes about Idol contests, and the keys to their success. He sees the show as a condensed version of life itself. The setbacks the performers face, and their triumphs, mirror our own. But his bottom line, no matter what your field of endeavor, is this: If you drive hard enough, sooner or later you will be the only one left on the road.

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