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Toby Keith Turns Down Offer to Be American Idol Judge

"Toby was flattered," says publicist.

In the wake of the recent departures of American Idol judges Jennifer Lopez and Aerosmith's Steven Tyler (and the addition of Mariah Carey to the judges panel for the upcoming season), the American Idol brass is trying to fill the remaining slot on the panel, and Toby Keith's name was on the list of potential candidates.

"Toby was flattered but turned down the offer from American Idol," his publicist tells Certainly, Toby's current touring and recording endeavors would make it difficult to accept the offer.

Of course, it's not hard to see why the Idol executives might consider the singer/songwriter for the series. He has legions of fans, sold-out concerts and numerous trophies from the Academy of Country Music, the American Music Awards and the Country Music Association. His personality would be a good fit, too. Toby has no problem saying what's on his mind—whether that's about politics, music or Natalie Maines (remember his feud with the Dixie Chicks singer in 2002 over Toby's song "Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue" and the comments Natalie made in 2003 regarding former President George W. Bush?). That outspoken nature would certainly have served him well in the judge's seat.

As previously reported, it seems that Brad Paisley's hat might still be in the ring as a potential American Idol judge.

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