Just days before “American Idol” begins shooting, it has been reported that Lionel Richie has nabbed the third spot on the judging panel!
TMZ reports that an official announcement on the judges could come as early as today! Richie’s name has been part of the judging conversation for months.
Some of the other names being thrown around included Keith Urban, Common and Charlie Puth.
Over the weekend, Variety reported country star Luke Bryan had agreed to join the show as a judge.
According to TMZ, Luke signed a nearly $13-million contract, while Lionel accepted a contract for around $10 million.
ABC confirmed the reports on Friday, telling The Hollywood Reporter, "Luke and Lionel are the perfect additionsto round out our panel of judges for American Idol on ABC. 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.”
In a statement, Luke said, “I’m excited at the chance to help some deserving artists reach their dreams. 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!”
Lionel added, “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!”
In May, it was announced that Katy Perry was joining “American Idol” for $25 million. Two months later, Ryan Seacrest revealed he was returning to host.
“American Idol” is set to premiere in March 2018.