After fans have been waiting for what seems like an eternity, the search for the next American Idol judges has finally come to an end, with icon Lionel Richie and country superstar Luke Bryan signing huge contracts to join pop star Katy Perry.
For weeks, plenty of names were rumored to be joining the cast of American Idol, including Kim Kardashian. As the Inquisitr reported a few weeks ago, producers had been looking to get Richie and Bryan signed as judges for quite some time. The show’s host Ryan Seacrest, on the other hand, was reportedly pushing for Kardashian to join the judge’s panel because he thought her massive social media following would be beneficial to the show.
But today, TMZ has learned that the judges search has finally come to a close, with Lionel and Luke finally signing on as judges for the hit singing competition. ABChas also confirmed the news in a press release. And now that their contracts have been finalized, producers are in a hurry to begin filming, with TMZ reporting that they will begin shooting as early as next Tuesday.
While AOL News says that Idol producers were panicking about their budget after Katy Perry’s whopping $25 million contract, it seems as though they had enough dough left over to give Richie and Bryan generous contracts.
The publication goes on to report that Luke’s contract is somewhere in the ballpark of $13 million, while the “All Night Long” singer will make around $10 million. In turn, the show’s host, Ryan Seacrest, will be back again with his paycheck reportedly being somewhere between $10 million and $15 million for the season. From his other hosting gigs, such as his radio show and his job as co-host on Live with Kelly and Ryan, the TV personality is already raking in about $55 million annually, according to Forbes.
“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,” Luke said in the statement.
“I am very excited to be joining Katy, Luke and Ryan [Seacrest] 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,” Richie chimed in.
Luke and Lionel are no strangers to each other as they have worked together in the past. At the 2016 Grammy Awards, Lionel and Luke closed the show when they sang “All Night Long” together as part of a tribute to Richie. Rolling Stone reports that Demi Lovato, Meghan Trainor, and Tyrese Gibson also joined in the tribute to the famed R&B singer.
So it’s clear to see that this duo already has chemistry together. Are you excited for the newest American Idol judges?
[Featured Image by Terry Wyatt/Getty Images]