Harry Connick Jr. Says Jennifer Lopez Is His Social Media Mentor

The American Idol judge is a Twitter newbie


Who Harry Connick Jr.

Age 46

Accomplishments Grammy Award-winning singer and composer; actor; American Idol judge (Season 13 airs Wednesdays and Thursdays at 8/7c on Fox)

Base Connecticut

What’s the first information you consume in the morning?

Probably CNN, and usually the Today show’s on in my house. During football season, I go to the [New Orleans] Saints website so I can keep up on my team.

What are your go-to social media platforms?

I have three daughters, so they’re on everything from Snapchat to Vine to Instagram. I just started on Twitter. I never really knew what it was about—I used to think that it was just people talking about what they were having for lunch, which is why I never did it. But my record company told me, “You need to get on this thing,” and now I really dig it. It’s fascinating, man. Not just the immediacy of it, but the content and seeing what people respond to.

American Idol is a huge show on social media. Are you prepared for people to be tweeting at you as a judge every week?

You know, I don’t really read that stuff too much. The bottom line is that there are going to be a lot of people who just hate you and a lot of people who think you’re the greatest thing ever. My whole mantra is just to tune out the noise because you can get addicted to it. I’m a grown man, and I find myself wondering sometimes: Hmm, I wonder how that was perceived.

Your Idol co-host Jennifer Lopez is huge on Twitter. Has she given you any tips?

I joke with her that I’m about to pass her—I think I have about 90,000 followers and she has 25 million—but she’s obviously very committed to it and very generous with how she communicates with her fans. That’s what I’m trying to do as I build this audience.

What TV shows do you watch?

I watch a lot of Discovery Channel. My wife watches [the NBC Nightly News] with Brian Williams every night. And we watch a lot of movies. My second daughter, Kate, is really into classic movies, and I’m into scary movies, so recently we watched The Silence of the Lambs, Kiss the Girls and The Shining. And we love Idol.

Have you been watching Idol since the beginning?

We have. I haven’t caught every episode, but I was a big, big fan since the first year. I must say, last year kind of slowed down a little bit—it wasn’t my favorite season, but it was entertaining at times, so we only watched it now and then.

How do you listen to music?

I’m old school, man. I buy it on iTunes. I like to have access to it when I want it, and I like to own it. I also think it’s nice—I can’t believe I’m saying this—it’s nice to pay for music. I know I’m in the minority, but I like to get out there and support the people that I listen to.

How do you wind down before bed?

During the football season, I’ll put on the TV and watch ESPN or the NFL Network or Fox Sports 1, or sometimes I’ll watch Letterman or Jimmy Fallon. I also play a lot on my phone—there’s this billiards game called 8 Ball Pool that I play all the time, or I’ll play Words With Friends with my wife, or I’ll text with my girls.