American idol bobby bones

Radio DJ and comedian Bobby Bones is joining the forthcoming season of American Idol at ABC as the reality competition’s in-house mentor. The announcement was made tonight during Dancing with the Stars.

Bones joined the Top 24 Idol hopefuls last season as they prepared to take the stage with their all-star celebrity duet partners. In his expanded role, the multimedia personality will offer his industry expertise throughout the competition, helping contenders reach the next level of their artistry and performances.

Bones is the youngest honoree to be inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame. He is the host of the nationally syndicated radio show “The Bobby Bones Show” and recently garnered its third ACM Award for National On-Air Personality of the Year. He also earned a 2017 Country Music Association award for National Broadcast Personality of the Year. He is also a best-selling author, podcaster, and stand-up comedian.

American Idol will return to ABC for the 2018-2019 season, marking its second season on the network with all-star judges Luke Bryan, Katy Perry, Lionel Richie, and host Ryan Seacrest. The show moved to ABC after being on Fox for 15 seasons.

The show is produced by Fremantle and Industrial Media’s 19 Entertainment. Executive producers include Fremantle’s Trish Kinane, also serving as showrunner; Megan Wolflick; and Chris Anokute, representing Industrial Media. Fremantle distributes the series worldwide.

Bobby Bones is making his mark on American Idol, debuting in his role as a mentor during Hollywood Week.

Sunday, the Bobby Bones Show host will take on the job of mentoring the talented singers looking to win the title of the next American Idol, helping them take their singing to the next level and impress judges Katy Perry, Luke Bryan and Lionel Richie.

Bones also appeared on the Idol reboot’s first season to help the Top 24 competitors prepare for their celebrity duets, but this season is acting as a full-blown mentor to help singer from the start “reach the next level of their artistry and performances,” according to ABC.

Champion mentor @mrbobbybones brings his skills to Hollywood Week TONIGHT on #AmericanIdol at 8|7c on ABC.

— American Idol (@AmericanIdol) March 24, 2019

In a new video shared by the ABC competition show on Twitter, Bones explains, “They’ve got their golden ticket, but will they survive Hollywood Week? Join me, American Idol mentor Bobby Bones, to find out who will wow the judges and who will go home.”

The Dancing With the Stars Season 27 winner revealed in November he would be joining the singing competition, saying in a video at the time, “I’m super excited. I can’t wait to work with them and hopefully make a brand new superstar on American Idol. So be sure to watch, and I will see you soon.”

In December, he teased fans with a preview of what went down during Hollywood Week, sharing alongside a photo of his surprised face, “This is the face of ‘holy crap.’ Hollywood week is happening on American Idol. And it’s a lot of no sleep. Which I was able to advise them on wonderfully. Haha. Was up with all the groups til after 1 this morning. It’s quite the manic few days. But some really good singers for real.”

“Really good singers” appears to be an understatement with the amazing musicians who have been showcased so far this season.

“I think one of the most important things is that we feel like the talent is really, really next-level stuff,” Bryan told ABC News Radio ahead of the March premiere. “And we feel like we have people that walk out, that they’re not just walking out and they’re just singing, they truly have stories to tell.”


American Idol airs Sundays and Mondays at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.

Photo credit: Instagram/Bobby Bones

Lauren Daigle Returns to Mentor American Idol’s Top 6, May 5, 2019 | Screenshot/People

Christian singer Lauren Daigle was the celebrity guest mentor on Sunday’s “American Idol” and told the top six contestants that the vocal competition was instrumental in giving her something to believe in.

“When I was 17, I tried out for ‘American Idol’. I look back on that, 10 years ago, and I think, man, the journey has been so incredible. Like it really has. This show gave me something to believe in, it really did,” the Grammy Award-winning artist said to the ‘American Idol’ finalists in an exclusive clip premiered by People magazine before the episode.

Daigle auditioned for Simon Cowell, Kara DioGuardi and Randy Jackson a decade ago, but now the 27 year old is back to share some tips she acquired in her successful career.

GRAMMY winner and Contemporary Christian artist, @Lauren_Daigle returns to #AmericanIdol to mentor our Top 6! #FlashbackFriday
Join us LIVE coast-to-coast Sunday night at 8pm ET | 5pm PT on ABC!

— American Idol (@AmericanIdol) May 3, 2019

During the live show one by one the contestants sung her praise.

Contestant Madison VanDenburg admitted she was nervous to meet Daigle.

The Christian singer was touched by Alejandro Aranda’s songwriting and after Daigle’s instruction, Judge Katy Perry told Aranda it was his best singing yet.

“To be able to work with Lauren is a huge blessing,” contestant Laci Kaye Booth testified. “Lauren brought something out of me that I didn’t know I had.”

Daigle told contestants that she once “scrubbed toilets ” to make enough money for voice lessons. Her words really resonated with Jeremiah Lloyd Harmon who also got his start scrubbing toilets as a janitor for his father’s church.

“You can see he’s wanting to be released from the cage, he’s ready to fly,” Daigle said of openly gay pastor’s kid, Harmon.

The “You Say” singer advised singer Wade Cota to give himself the “freedom to fail.” Cota expressed his gratitude and told America he was so happy to have met her and it helped him rid himself of all the “bad energy”

Lastly, Daigle ended her mentorship by helping her hometown neighbor, Laine Hardy learn how to dance.

Daigle’s instruction paid off and each performer received high praise from judges, Perry, Lionel Richie and Luke Bryan. At the end of the night, Harmon and Booth did not receive enough votes from America to advance in the popular singing competition but the judges stepped in to give Booth one more chance.

Daigle has been seen often on mainstream television recently. The singer gave a show-stopping performance of her Christian hit song, “You Say,” at the Billboard Music Awards last week and swept the awards in her genre.

Daigle won top Christian artist, top Christian album, and top Christian song and performed a stripped-down, intimate version of her song right before Mariah Carey received the icon award.

Daigle’s last release, Look Up Child debuted at No. 3 on the Billboard 200 chart upon its release in September, beating out popular secular musicians such as Drake, Ariana Grande, Nicki Minaj and Cardi B that week. Since then, she’s been a Billboard favorite and has been in the mainstream circuit sharing her Christian music and her story.

Next: The Best of Bobby Bones’ Twitter Account

Bobby Bones has broken records, ruffled feathers and changed the expectations for country music DJ’s across the country. After moving his highly successful show, the Bobby Bones Show, from Austin to Nashville, the radio host quickly became one of the most popular and controversial DJ’s in country music history.

His pop-culture infused banter and modern spin on the air gained him high praise and even higher weekday listenership. Shortly after Clear Channel took his morning show nationwide, it became the biggest country music radio show in the mornings, with an audience of nearly 3 million listeners.

Bones even won the Mirrorball trophy on ABC’s Dancing With the Stars with pro partner, Sharna Burgess (sorry Evanna Lynch and Alexis Ren). He came onto the show with absolutely no dancing experience and brought in excellent judges’ scores every week with strong support from his fans all along the way.

Although incredibly popular, Bones has also faced some harsh criticism from his shock-jock tendencies and controversial statements. In 2014, multiple billboards sprung up around Nashville blazoned with the words “GO AWAY BOBBY BONES,” which were erected by a mysterious organization only documented as “Anti-Bobby Bones.” Many argue that his modern and edgy take on country radio has changed the industry for the worse.

Who is Bobby Bones and why has he caused such a stir in country music? Here are 10 facts that you probably didn’t know about the man behind the microphone.

1. He came from humble beginnings

Bobby Bones, whose real name is Bobby Estell, was raised by a single mother in Arkansas. He spent most of his childhood in poverty and has been quoted as saying that he saw radio as being his only way out of his dire situation.

He began working at the campus station of Henderson State University at the age of 17, and later became an on-air voice at KLAZ 105.9 while still in college. After graduating, he worked at a station in Little Rock, Arkansas before making his big move to Austin, Texas.

2. He gained popularity in Austin, not Nashville

After joining 96.7 KISS FM, Bones began working on-air during the morning drive time. He stayed on that time slot for ten years and developed the show into the top-rated morning show in Austin. During this period, the music format for the show was popular top-40 hits but was changed to country music after its relocation to Nashville in 2013.

3. He’s been highly awarded

During his time as a DJ in Austin, he gained critical acclaim for his hands-on approach to radio. He was named Best Radio Personality by the Austin Music Awards for four years in a row and won the award for Best Radio Program in 2008. In 2018, he and co-hosts Amy, Eddie, and Lunchbox won an Academy of Country Music Award for National On-Air Personality of the Year.

4. He’s caused mass chaos

Bones came under heavy criticism after erroneously triggering the national Emergency Alert System by playing a clip of an EAS test from 2011 over the airwaves. The audio of the old test triggered alerts to thousands of AT&T customers phones and televisions, which is designed to happen only during a national emergency. The event caused a huge public uproar and an investigation by the FCC into the incident.

5. He started a production company

In November 2014, Bones announced he was creating his own television production company named Right Side Blind Productions. The company, which is based out of Los Angeles, focuses on developing content for television networks. Bones has been quoted as saying he would also like to develop a television talk show based in Nashville.

6. He’s feuded with Kacey Musgraves

In January 2014, Bones aired a highly edited version of an interview done with singer-songwriter Kacey Musgraves, which intentionally made her seem rude and uninterested in the conversation. The two began exchanging heated messages back and forth publicly on Twitter until Bones finally posted an apology a couple months later.

7. He’s charitable

Big country stars like Jason Aldean have teamed up with Bones to hold large money-raising events for organizations like Susan G. Komen and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. In 2013, he also created 30 Abes, a campaign dedicated to relieving hunger in Haiti. An event for the campaign broke a Guinness World Record with volunteers packing 530,064 meals in only 45 minutes.

8. He’s worth a chunk of change

Even though he’s relatively young and is still in the early stages of his career, he has already earned a yearly salary of 1 million dollars. With his combined experience, popularity and appeal, he now has a net worth of 5 million dollars. Those numbers are sure to increase as his career continues.

9. He’s dealt with personal tragedy

In a recent interview with the Tennessean, Bones described his rocky relationship with his mother, who suffered from alcohol and drug addiction. He found out about his mother’s death during his morning show, which was a result of her struggle with methamphetamines, but opted to complete the day’s show anyway. Although he attempted to use his success to help his mother financially, he could not help her with her addictions. Bones now speaks to groups of family members of those suffering from addiction to give advice and to share his experiences.

10. He’s not just on the radio

After his quick rise to radio station fame, other high profile opportunities emerged for Bones. He’s appeared on the popular television drama, “Nashville,” as himself and has sat in as a guest host on “Live! with Regis and Kelly.” He also makes regular appearances as host for music industry events around Nashville and has acted as a music correspondent for CNN.

You’ll also see him performing with his band, The Raging Idiots. As if he didn’t seem busy enough, he’s also a published author and New York Times bestseller with his books, Bare Bones: I’m Not Lonely If You’re Reading This Book and Fail Until You Don’t: Fight. Grind.

Country radio DJ Bobby Bones reveals he spent $13,000 on a hoax to win over Nashville

Radio personality Bobby Bones speaks during the 2016 iHeartCountry Festival at the Frank Erwin Center in Austin on April 30. (Bob Levey/Getty Images for iHeartMedia) By Emily YahrEmily Yahr Style reporter covering pop culture and entertainment May 13, 2016

If you’ve never heard of Bobby Bones, here’s the gist: He’s sort of the Ryan Seacrest of the country music world, if Seacrest was more polarizing and didn’t have a filter.

Bones (born Bobby Estell) is the host of iHeartMedia’s “The Bobby Bones Show,” the most popular syndicated country morning radio show in America, with an audience of several million. Like Seacrest, Bones is everywhere, including sports talk radio, award shows and on tour with his band, the Raging Idiots. He’s also very influential — Bones can send a song rocketing up the iTunes charts by playing it just once on his show.

Unlike Seacrest, Bones is a controversial figure, particularly in country music. And thanks to an anecdote in his new memoir, “Bare Bones,” the DJ now adds another layer to his complicated persona, as he finally admits to taking drastic measures to get listeners to like him during his first year in Nashville.

As detailed in the book, many weren’t thrilled in 2013 when iHeartMedia made Bones (a popular Top 40 DJ in Austin) the host of Nashville’s flagship radio program. Not only did Bones replace beloved DJ Gerry House, he was a lightning rod in a town that loves tradition: He had no background in country radio and no typical DJ voice, and his co-hosts were all his friends without any radio experience. He caught artists off-guard with odd questions during interviews and occasionally played hip-hop songs. He didn’t follow the “old guard” and he didn’t care. Some listeners loved it; others took an instant dislike.

“Everyone who considered himself a real defender of country music hated me,” Bones writes. “My attitude was, ‘This is how it’s going to work. I’m playing whatever I want to play. I’m doing the bits I want to do. I don’t wear cowboy boots or hats or belt buckles. I am not you; I am me.”

While Bones writes now he probably could have handled the transition better, at the time, he was determined to not change. But a year into his run, he was getting tired of being known as “the weird radio guy.” “My attitude wasn’t winning me any friends — or listeners. I needed to get people to like me, or at least feel sorry for me,” he writes.

The plan? “I launched a massive negative PR campaign against myself to garner sympathy.” So, Bones writes, he spent nearly $13,000 of his own money to put up billboards all over Nashville for three weeks with a message: “GO AWAY BOBBY BONES.”

(screenshot from YouTube)

Sure enough, the phones started ringing: From listeners, his bosses and media outlets. The main response: “Dude, I can’t believe people are doing that to you.” Bones writes that people started wildly speculating who it could be, from record labels to other radio stations to country singers who didn’t like him. When media outlets (and even his own company) tried to investigate, they found the billboards were purchased by an organization called “Anti-BOBBY BONES.”

The billboards caused a stir; a few years later, Bones still can’t quite believe he got away with it. No one guessed it was him. At the time, he acted surprised as anyone, and played along with the guessing games; he also didn’t bring it up too often. “The quieter I was, the more legitimate it seemed,” Bones said in a phone interview this week.

He said he’s not worried about the reaction from his bosses, even though he took the “ask forgiveness, not permission” approach when he decided to spring for this PR maneuver. According to Bones, one iHeartMedia executive read the anecdote and responded, “I see you admitted that, good stuff.” (iHeartMedia declined to comment for this story.)

Overall, Bones said, the idea was a success: Months later, people remembered the signs. Over time, ratings grew from 2 to 3 million listeners as more stations picked up the show. At this point, even though he’s admitting it was a hoax, there’s little likelihood of backlash — especially because listeners are used to his wacky stunts.

In the book, he admits the billboards were “pretty desperate measures to take to get more ratings.” Still, he wrote that he has no regrets: “You have to understand how hard it was to be rejected for the thing that I had been doing for years and that had made my radio show so successful — and that was being myself.”

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After taking Dancing With the Stars by storm, country music radio host Bobby Bones is back. This time though, he’s sharing his talents on the newest season of American Idol as an “in-house mentor.”

What does this mean exactly? As ABC puts it, Bobby will be there to help contestants “reach the next level of their artistry and performances” by “offering his industry expertise.” Basically, he’s going to up each singer’s showmanship game so that they’re wowing the audience with more than just their vocals. It’s a role that Bobby took on with the top 24 (and, later, the final three) last season. This time though, he’ll be there throughout the competition.

What do the American Idol judges think of Bobby Bones’s job?

While Katy Perry, Luke Bryan, and Lionel Richie surely know how to judge vocal talent, they seem ready to have Bobby there to help develop the performance aspect. But as Lionel told People back in November, the Dancing With the Stars winner better be ready to deal with … a lot.

“Well, let me just tell you something: the judges are pretty locked,” Lionel explained. “We have opinions, big opinions. This year, because we’ve gotten used to each other now and Luke knows how to push Katy’s buttons and Katy knows how to push — well, Katy and Luke know how to push my buttons — just tell Bobby, ‘Come in with some gloves on.’”

Luke echoed what Lionel said, and also seemed eager to have Bobby officially join the AI team.

“He knows how to seize moments and nobody works harder,” Luke said about Bobby’s work ethic. “He’s welcome anytime . You gotta get ready for Lionel’s stories of the ’70s and ’80s, and there’s nothing to prepare you for what Katy may throw your way.”

As for “California Gurls” singer, Katy hasn’t explicitly said how she feels about Bobby joining the crew as the “official” mentor.

Last season, the two did get into a little argument when Bobby declared that the judges “were nuts” and being “way too harsh” during part one of the season finale. Katy clapped back at Bobby and told him that she felt she needed to be honest with the contestants. At the end of the day, Bobby shared a photo on Instagram of the two laughing with each other, which probably means that everything is good now.

View this post on Instagram

This is how @katyPerry and I ended the night . BFFs . #americanidol ( 📸 @gettyimages )

A post shared by Bobby Bones (@mrbobbybones) on May 20, 2018 at 9:26pm PDT

March 3 — a.k.a. the date that American Idol comes back — can’t come soon enough!

Kayla Keegan News and Entertainment Editor Kayla Keegan covers all things in the entertainment, pop culture, and celebrity space for Good Housekeeping.