American Idol’ Hires Ray Chew as New Music Director

The last little piece is finally in place.

American Idol lost its bandleader, Rickey Minor when he left the show to head the Tonight Show band shortly after Jay Leno returned to late night.

According to The Hollywood Reporter:

Chew has served as bandleader and musical director for such programs as NBC’s It’s Showtime at the Apollo and The Singing Bee. He also curated all the music for the 2008 Democratic National Convention, where Idol alum Jennifer Hudson sang the national anthem, and the inaugural ball ushering in Barack Obama’s presidency in January 2009, which featured performances by Mary J. Blige, Shakira, Mariah Carey, Stevie Wonder, and Sting, along with an unforgettable rendition of Etta James’ “At Last, ” sung by Beyoncé as the first couple had their first dance.

Chew has worked with Aretha Franklin, Diana Ross, Gladys Knight and Alicia Keys. He played with the Saturday Night Live band in the 1980s and considers Quincy Jones a mentor.

Check out a recent interview with Chew at Blog Critics. And after the jump, watch a highlight reel of his work.

Video after the JUMP…

About mj santilli 34438 Articles
Founder and editor of, home of the awesomest fan community on the net. I love cheesy singing shows of all kinds, whether reality or scripted. I adore American Idol, but also love The Voice, Glee, X Factor and more!