'American Idol' Season 10 Power Players

'American Idol' Season 10 Power Players

Background: Forty years of superstardom don't lie -- as the frontman for iconic band Aerosmith, Steven Tyler has been rocking since the '70s and amassing a collection of hits that few modern-day artists can match. Since 1991 alone (when SoundScan began tracking album sales), Tyler and his bandmates have sold 30 million albums and 8 million tracks.

What he'll bring to "Idol": Many were surprised to see a veteran rocker like Tyler join "American Idol," but his experience can only benefit the show's contestants -- especially those who prefer to sing Beatles and Janis Joplin tunes over Stevie Wonder and Mariah Carey. Expect him to spot the most rock-friendly contestants early and champion them all season long, not to mention encourage the kind of conflict resolution skills that being in a band for four decades requires.

next: Randy Jackson

Randy Jackson

Background: Ryan Seacrest has developed into quite the media personality titan since "Idol" premiered in 2001. The 36-year-old also hosts E! News on TV and his own syndicated radio program, "On Air with Ryan Seacrest," that's heard throughout the country. Seacrest has also executive-produced reality shows including "Momma's Boys" and "Denise Richards: It's Complicated."

What he'll bring to "Idol": Like Jackson, Seacrest is a familiar face, but he's also the ringmaster of the show and the one who can turn even the most awkward of moments into a laugh. He'll stand by contestants who look deflated after a judge's critique, and if things ever get out of hand at the judges' table just a few feet away, count on him to put everyone back in order.

next: Jimmy Iovine

Jimmy Iovine

Background: Lythgoe is part of the original braintrust that launched "American Idol" in 2002 and helped turn it into the pop culture juggernaut it would become. After departing the show in 2008 to focus his efforts on his other hit competition show, "So You Think You Can Dance," Lythgoe returns to "Idol" as a producer for its 10th season.

What he'll bring to "Idol": It's in no small part because of Lythgoe that "American Idol" has undergone so many changes in this off-season, from upgrading to A-list judges to bringing in Jimmy Iovine as an in-house mentor. On Lythgoe's watch, "Idol" churned out one breakthrough artist after another, and one can bet that he's intent on having even bigger success with this second act.

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