Lionel Richie joins ABC’s ‘American Idol’ reboot as third judge

  • Kelcie Willis, Cox Media Group National Content Desk
4:55 p.m Friday, Sept. 29, 2017 Nation& World
Nicholas Hunt/Getty Images/Getty Images
Lionel Richie has been confirmed as the third judge on the ABC reboot of "American Idol."

Lionel Richie will be on ABC’s version of “American Idol” after all.

Despite a report that the musician’s team was having difficulty getting him $10 million to take the judge’s seat, the singer is officially on board and any issues have apparently been sorted out, according to Variety.

Luke Bryan, who was previously reported by Variety as joining the judges panel, was confirmed by ABC on Friday.

“Luke and Lionel are the perfect additions to round out our panel of judges for ‘American Idol’ on ABC,” Channing Dungey, ABC Entertainment president, said in a statement. “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.”

Richie and Bryan join Katy Perry as judges. Perry, who was announced as a judge in May, is being paid $25 million for one season. With Ryan Seacrest making $15 million to return as host, Variety reported that less than $10 million of the initial talent budget for ABC was left. 

“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!”

Richie also made the annoucement on Twitter.

A premiere date for ABC’s “American Idol” has not been announced, but Variety reported that it may debut in March. Auditions began this week.

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