Fox to lower 'Idol' age requirement

First of many new changes will allow 15-year-olds to compete

Fox is lowering the age requirement to audition for "American Idol," allowing 15-year-old singers to compete for the first time.

Previously, contestants had to be at least 16 to appear on the show. The maximum age to try out for "Idol," 28, remains unchanged.

"A lot of young, talented people are now seeking careers and representation before they turn 16," said Cecile Frot-Coutaz, executive producer of "Idol." "Lowering the age limit allows us to tap into this talent pool."

The announcement is the first of several upcoming changes for the show, which is expected to name a new judge to replace Simon Cowell and a new music director in the coming months.