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‘Idol’ bandleader going to ‘Tonight Show’

Simon Cowell isn't the only person leaving “American Idol” this season. Bandleader Rickey Minor will replace Jay Leno’s bandleader Kevin Eubanks on “Tonight Show” beginning June 7.
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When “American Idol” returns next year, it will be without Simon Cowell, and now, it’s confirmed it will be without bandleader and musical director Rickey Minor, too. Minor will make his “Tonight Show” debut on June 7.

Minor will replace Jay Leno’s bandleader Kevin Eubanks, who on Monday announced he’d be leaving the show on May 28. “I am honored to be a part of the ‘Tonight Show’ legacy,” Minor said Tuesday night.

The move comes as something of a surprise, although “Idol” producers seem to have been downplaying Minor’s role on the show this season. In the past, Minor would often get a big “Rickey Minor and the band” introduction, and the camera frequently panned to the bandleader. Not so this year, where even “the didgeridoo guy Eddie, who came onstage with Crystal Bowersox last week, has gotten more airtime than Minor has all season,” said Craig Berman, an “American Idol” expert and columnist for

Berman said that “Idol” losing its bandleader is a sign of where the program is going. “‘The Tonight Show’ is a jump in prestige, and (a departure like Minor’s) says something about a show that’s been stable for so long.”

That said, it’s not doom and gloom for “Idol.”

“It’s not rats jumping off the ship, it’s not like he’s leaving for ‘Dancing With the Stars,’ but it’s a sign that better gigs are out there for a bandleader,” said Berman. “If the approach came maybe two years ago, it’s likely a bandleader would say, ‘No, so many more people see me here than would see me at 11:30.’ It’s a big sign that that has changed.’”

Sources connected to Minor say that his split with “Idol” is amicable, and that Minor and show producer Simon Fuller might still work together in some capacity in the future.

Parker talks about her twins’ birthSarah Jessica Parker has remained private about details of her twins’ birth by surrogate last June, but in the May issue of Vogue magazine, Parker opens up about meeting them for the first time.

SJP: Style, 'Sex' and success

Slideshow  35 photos

SJP: Style, 'Sex' and success

From her early Broadway and film career to her iconic “Sex and the City” role and fashion businesses, Sarah Jessica Parker has nearly done it all.

“Meeting your children rather than giving birth to them, it’s as if, um, it’s — suspended animation,” Parker said about her daughters Marion and Tabitha.

She goes on to say, “The gestational experience is gone. It’s as if everything else disappears for a moment, and the world goes silent and — I can’t explain it except to say that nothing else existed. I don’t remember anything but the blanket on the bed that they were lying on and my husband’s face and their faces and my son’s. It’s literally as if sound is sucked from the room. Time stands still. It’s so different, and equally extraordinary.”

Parker’s Vogue interview is pegged to “Sex and the City 2,” which is out in theaters Memorial Day weekend. Parker said the women of “SATC” are better than ever this time around, and she credits that to the fact that all the actresses lived together during the filming of the movie.

“We four women, despite I guess what a lot of people hope, have never been better. This movie — and maybe it’s because we actually lived together — it was the best! We were together all day long, at night, in the restaurants, in our hotels. It was wonderful,” she said to Vogue.

Courtney Hazlett delivers the Scoop Monday through Friday on Follow Scoop on Twitter @courtneyatmsnbc