Steven Tyler apologizes to Nicki Minaj, says he's not racist
Steven Tyler apologized publicly to Nicki Minaj during a recent interview on a Canadian television show after criticizing the rapper and her fellow judges from the upcoming "American Idol" season.
Tyler previously commented to MTV in a story published on November 26 about his time as an "American Idol" judge and made a reference to Minaj which suggested the rapper wouldn't have approved a contestant if he were like Bob Dylan.
"You just have to give your opinion," Tyler told the music news outlet. "It wasn't hard for me, but I would imagine it's hard for some people, and they need a manager to say 'Shut the [expletive] up, and just give them your opinion.' These kids, they just got out of a car from the Midwest somewhere and they're in New York City, they're scared to death; you're not going to get the best [out of them] ... If it was Bob Dylan, Nicki Minaj would have had him sent to the cornfield! Whereas, if it was Bob Dylan with us, we would have brought the best of him out, as we did with Phillip Phillips. Just saying."
Minaj then responded to Tyler's remarks on Twitter and criticized Tyler for judging her ability when she has not appeared on "American Idol" yet.
"Steven Tyler said I would have sent Bob Dylan to a cornfield??? Steven, you haven't seen me judge one single solitary contestant yet," she wrote. Minaj later said that Tyler's comment was racist and questioned why he thought she wouldn't like someone like Bob Dylan.
The Aerosmith lead singer appeared on the Canadian television show "eTalk" and said according to a video from the interview posted by TMZ, "No, it was a moment, you know. I apologize if it was taken wrong Nicki."
"I am the last thing on this planet as far as being a racist," he added. "I don't know where she got that out of me saying I'm not sure how she would've judged Bob Dylan."
"I was just saying that if Bob Dylan came on the show he would've been thrown off. So maybe I spoke out of turn," he continued. "But a racist I am not, Nicki."
Minaj has not commented on Tyler's apology.
Tyler, 64, appeared on the hit Fox series for seasons 10 and 11 alongside fellow judges Randy Jackson and Jennifer Lopez. In July 2012, both Tyler and Lopez announced that they would be departing from the popular singing series, and in September, it was announced that the new judging panel would consist of Minaj, Mariah Carey, Keith Urban and Randy Jackson.
The 12th season of "American Idol" is set to debut on January 16, 2013 at 8 p.m. ET on Fox.