‘American Idol’ Adds Luke Bryan, Lionel Richie as Judges

Duo joins Katy Perry and returning host Ryan Seacrest

Luke Bryan Lionel Richie American Idol
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Luke Bryan and Lionel Richie have officially signed on to join Katy Perry at the judging table when “American Idol” returns on ABC next year.

The judges will be joined by Ryan Seacrest, who will return to host the singing competition show in addition to his other role as co-host of the syndicated daytime talk show “Live With Kelly and Ryan.”

“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!”

“I am very excited to be joining Katy, Luke and Ryan on ‘American Idol,’” said Richie. “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!”

The announcement ends a long search for judges stretching back to May, when ABC first closed a deal to revive the show. Perry was the first star attached to serve as judge, a deal which reportedly cost a hefty $25 million.

“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.”

“American Idol” is produced by FremantleMedia North America and 19 Entertainment, a division of CORE Media Group. Executive producers include FremantleMedia North America’s Trish Kinane and Jennifer Mullin along with co-executive producer, Megan Wolflick. FremantleMedia International distributes the series worldwide.