After weeks of drama, speculation, and rumors – American Idol finally has their judging panel for the revamped version of the singing competition.
Country singer Luke Bryan and music legend Lionel Richie will join Katy Perry at the judges desk, ABC officially announced. Ryan Seacrest will be returning to host the show as he has done every season.
“Luke and Lionel are the perfect additions to round out our panel of judges for American Idol on ABC,” ABC president Channing Dungey said. “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.”
Both Richie and Bryan had been rumored for weeks to be in the sights of show producers, but details over the contract had been the major issue preventing them from signing on.
“I am very excited to be joining Katy, Luke, and Ryan on American Idol,” Richie said in a statement. “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!”
Ritchie is a singer, songwriter, and producer. He has sold over 100 million albums worldwide and won four Grammys.
Bryan is one of country music’s hottest artists. His last three releases all debuted at number one of Billboard’s Top Country Albums chart.
“I’m excited at the chance to help some deserving artists reach their dreams,” said Bryan. “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!”
Host Ryan Seacrest tweeted his excitement to his new co-workers on Friday.
— Ryan Seacrest (@RyanSeacrest) September 29, 2017
ABC will officially bring Perry, Richie, and Bryan together when they appear on ABC’s Good Morning America on October 4.