The country star and legendary crooner join Katy Perry at the American Idol reboot judging panel
“I’m so excited and proud to announce that I will be one of the three judges,” he said in a video message. “I will be joined [by] the beautiful Miss Katy Perry, and my hero, Mr. Lionel Richie, and my fellow Georgia boy Ryan Seacrest. … I’m so honored.”
Added Richie, 68, in his own Twitter announcement, “HELLO American Idol! Excited to announce I will be on the judges panel.”
“I’m excited at the chance to help some deserving artists reach their dreams,” Bryan said in a statement. “To be in a position in my career to help facilitate this along with the other judges is just a complete honor. It’s gonna be a blast!”
Added Richie, “I am very excited to be joining Katy, Luke and Ryan on American Idol. As a singer, songwriter and producer, I feel I can bring a great deal of experience to the table. It’s going to be so much fun!”
“Luke and Lionel are the perfect additions to round out our panel of judges for ‘American Idol’ on ABC,” said Channing Dungey, president, ABC Entertainment. “In their respective genres of music, both Luke and Lionel possess insurmountable popularity and award-winning talent that are undeniable, and we are lucky that they will help in paving the way for hopefuls pursuing their dreams on our stage.”
“SO thrilled @ABCNetwork is bringing back @AmericanIdol, and I’m bringing it back to the MUSIC [See] you at auditions,” Perry, 32, tweeted shortly following the announcement on May 16, sharing her official Idol portrait. The show is scheduled to begin airing in March 2018.
The famed singing competition reality show was canceled by Fox in April 2016 but was revived in May by ABC after a multi-network bidding war.
“I had said at the end of the series, ‘Goodbye for now,’ hoping somewhere it would come back,” he explained during a May episode of Live with Kelly & Ryan.
Seacrest — whose net worth is estimated at $58 million — will continue his hosting and executive producing duties across all platforms, including Live with Kelly & Ryan and Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest, as well as radio shows On Air with Ryan Seacrest and his weekly Top 40 countdown.
“Who am I if not the American Idol guy?” Seacrest, 42, asked in a June THR profile. “I’ve always loved the show,” he continued. “And if I could do it forever, I would do it forever.”
- Reporting by ELIZABETH LEONARD