Aretha Franklin wants to judge “American Idol”


American IdolAretha Franklin, the “Queen of Soul,” said on Saturday she’s interested in joining “American Idol” as a judge, just days after Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler said they have ended their judging roles on the Fox show.

Tyler, the lead singer of Aerosmith who joined “Idol” two seasons ago along with pop singer Lopez, announced on Thursday that he would not return for the fall season. A day later, Lopez told “Idol” host Ryan Seacrest in a radio interview that she would be following Tyler out the door.

That leaves on the judging panel only Randy Jackson, who has been with the program since its 2002 launch when he was on the panel with Simon Cowell and Paula Abdul. The’ve since moved on to the American version of “The X Factor,” another singing contest. No word if Jackson will stay on with the show.

The May season finale of “Idol” drew 21.2 million viewers, well off its highs of more than 30 million in the show’s best years.