'The X Factor' officially hires L.A. Reid as a judge

antonio-la-reid-x-factor.jpg "The X Factor" has its first judge to sit alongside Simon Cowell.

Producer and record executive Antonio "L.A." Reid has officially been named to the judges' panel for the FOX show, which premieres in the fall (and which begins its audition process next week). Word of him joining the show leaked earlier this week, and he stepped down from his post as chairman of Island Def Jam Music Group on Thursday (March 17) in preparation for taking his "X Factor" role.

"I am proud to stand next to my dear friend Simon Cowell, one of the world's most gifted and charismatic talent magnets," Reid says. "'The X Factor' provides an extraordinary opportunity for aspiring artists of every age and genre to showcase their unique talents. I truly look forward to discovering our next generation of superstars."

Cowell, who created "The X Factor" and helped make it a big hit in the U.K., will be naming two more judges in the near future (and in our humble opinion, he could do worse than some of the people on this list -- just sayin'). The former "American Idol" judges says of Reid, "L.A. was my number one choice to sit alongside me on the show. In my opinion, he is one of the greatest ever music executives and of course a fantastic writer and producer. I am thrilled he has agreed to join the show."

Auditions for "The X Factor" kick off Sunday, March 27 in Los Angeles. They're open to anyone over age 12, both solo artists and groups. For more information, go to Fox.com/TheXFactor
Photo/Video credit: FOX