American Idol series 12 winner revealed in Los Angeles


Mariah Carey, Randy Jackson, and Nicki Minaj

An R&B singer who had auditioned three times for American Idol has won this year's final.

Candice Glover looked stunned when the competition's host Ryan Seacrest announced her as the winner.

After the announcement, the 23-year-old sobbed her way through her new single I Am Beautiful.

The win marks the first time a female and a non-white singer has won the competition since Jordin Sparks in the sixth season in 2007.

Mariah Carey, Randy Jackson, and Nicki Minaj
Image caption Randy Jackson took part in his last American Idol show

The previous five winners were Phillip Phillips, Scotty McCreery, Lee DeWyze, Kris Allen and David Cook were all young guitar players, known to Idol fans as WGWGs, or white guys with guitars.

Candice Glover, from South Carolina, beat Texas country singer Kree Harrison in the final.

The results show was held on Thursday night at the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles.

It was judge Randy Jackson's last appearance on the TV talent competition.

Candice Glover and contestants

The 56-year-old producer was the only remaining original American Idol judge.

He announced he was quitting the show earlier this month to focus on his record label and "other opportunities".

Although American Idol ratings remained steady on Wednesday nights, it was the lowest-rated final ever for the series.

Former American Idol finalist Jennifer Hudson returned for Thursday's final to duet with Candice Glover on Natalie Cole's Inseparable.

Hudson was among the guest stars for the two-hour show, including Psy, Frankie Valli, Emeli Sande, Jessie J, Aretha Franklin and former judge Jennifer Lopez.

American Idol judges Keith Urban and Mariah Carey, along with Randy Jackson on bass, also performed.

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