‘American Idol’ Snags Luke Bryan and Lionel Richie as Judges

American Idol Gets Luke Bryan and Lionel Richie
Luke Bryan performs on ‘Good Morning America’ (ABC/Ida Mae Astute)

ABC’s signed up an incredible trio of judges for the first season of the new American Idol. Katy Perry was previously announced as a judge on the singing competition series, and ABC confirmed Country superstar Luke Bryan and legendary singer/songwriter/producer Lionel Richie will be joining her to complete the judging panel. Ryan Seacrest is returning as the American Idol host.

“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!”

“I am very excited to be joining Katy, Luke and Ryan on American Idol,” stated 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!”

“Luke and Lionel are the perfect additions to round out our panel of judges for American Idol on ABC,” added 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.”

Trish Kinane, president of Entertainment Programming, FremantleMedia North America, executive producer and showrunner of American Idol, said, “We have taken our time to get the right mix of amazing talent for the new Idol judging panel. Our viewers expect musical credibility, passion and a true concern for the contestants; and with Luke Bryan and Lionel Richie joining the brilliant Katy Perry, we have two more world-class musical powerhouses eager to get to work and identify the next generation of superstars.”

Lionel Richie is just one of two songwriters who’ve had nine consecutive number one records. Richie’s also earned an Oscar, a Golden Globe, four Grammy Awards, and is a Kennedy Center Honoree. Luke Bryan has had 18 number one singles and has sold over 10 million albums.