America's Got Talent has officially found its new host. Tyra Banks will be replacing Nick Cannon for Season 12, veteran judge Howie Mandel announced on March 12. This marks Banks' big return to reality TV hosting since fronting America's Next Top Model after 22 seasons. But she continues to executive produce the series, which currently airs on VH1 with host Rita Ora.
“Since I was a little girl, I’ve been obsessed with grandiose acts and performers who make the seemingly impossible possible,” Banks said in a statement. “I love how AGT brings that feeling into everyone’s home, capturing the best of people who come out and give it their all to make those big, fierce and outrageous dreams come true.”
Cannon, who hosted AGT for eight consecutive seasons, announced he was parting ways with the show last month. The decision occurred after the TV personality was scrutinized for his Showtime comedy special Stand Up, Don't Shoot where he made a racial joke regarding AGT.
"This hurts tremendously. I felt like I was apart [sic] of the fabric of our great nation every summer, representing every culture, age, gender, and demographic," he wrote on social media. "Now for the rug to be pulled from underneath me and to be publicly reprimanded and ridiculed over a joke about my own race is completely wrong and I have to do something about it."
"I have mulled over my process for days and felt it was best to once again speak my mind about an unjust infrastructure that treat talent like they own them. Maybe it was my mistake for signing the contract in the first place, in which I will take full responsibility and have already taken action to restructure my own team of advisors. I now have to set out on a journey of freedom as an artist. As I was quoted in a recent interview, 'You can't fire a Boss!' and that is the essence that I possess. So I wish AGT and NBC the best in its upcoming season but I can not see myself returning. As of lately I have even questioned if I want to even be apart of an industry who ultimately treats artists in this manner. Most of us don't realize that there are 6 major corporations that control 90 percent of media in America and the amount of minority executives is dismal. With this being the case, true equality in our industry is impossible."
Banks joins judges Simon Cowell, Heidi Klum, Mel B. and Howie Mandel on AGT's upcoming season this summer. Below, watch our chat with Nick Cannon where he explains how his new single "Hold On" landed him in India: