Tyra Banks has been named the new host of competition show America’s Got Talent.


Banks is replacing Nick Cannon, who quit the gig after the 11th season after NBC threatened to fire him over a racial joke he made during his Showtime comedy special.

Banks made a name for herself as a model and then as host of America’s Next Top Model, a reality competition show for aspiring models. She also is CEO of The Tyra Banks Co. as well as the newly founded Fierce Capital, a firm that invests in early-stage companies, especially those run by women.

“Tyra is the complete package: Out-of-this-world talented, funny, brilliant and all heart. In whatever she has done, she has always connected with audiences around the world. Her vivacious spirit will infuse AGT in a big way,” said NBC alternative/reality president Paul Telegdy. “Not only is Tyra smart and beautiful, she’s also warm, compassionate and a lot of fun,” added Trish Kinane, president of entertainment programming at Fremantle North America. “She will fit right into the crazy world of AGT.”

Banks put out the official announcement, and host Howie Mandel reiterated it on social media. “Since I was a little girl, I’ve been obsessed with grandiose acts and performers who make the seemingly impossible possible,” she said. “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. I look forward to connecting with the dreamers, having fun and giving hugs and words of encouragement when needed. And maybe I’ll get one or two performers to smize for the audience!”

Banks will be the fourth host the show has had in 12 seasons. Regis Philbin hosted the first season, followed by Jerry Springer for two, and Cannon since. Judges Mandel, Simon CowellHeidi Klum, and Mel B will remain on the show.

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