The world’s biggest reality singing competition is making its way back to television! American Idol has already started scouting for America’s hidden talent and will officially be back on our screens early next year. Ryan Seacrest has already confirmed that he will be returning to the show he has hosted since series one and now, ABC has confirmed that Katy Perry, Luke Bryan and Lionel Richie will serve as the official judges on the show’s 16th season.

Katy Perry, who rose to fame in 2008 with the release of singles “I Kissed a Girl” and “Hot n Cold,” has garnered an impressive twelve Grammy nominations, five American Music Awards, 14 People’s Choice Awards, four Guinness World Records, and an Emmy nomination for her Super Bowl XLIX Halftime Show, among others. Billboard Magazine’s 2012 “Woman of the Year” has sold over 100 million records throughout her career, making her one of the bestselling musical artists of all time.

“I am honored and thrilled to be the first judge bringing back the American Idol tradition of making dreams come true for incredible talents with authentic personalities and real stories,” said Perry. “I’m always listening to new music, and love discovering diamonds in the rough—from mentoring young artists on my label, or highlighting new artists on my tours, I want to bring it back to the music.”

Luke Bryan is a two-time Academy of Country Music and Country Music Association Entertainer of the Year, a five-time host of the ACM Awards and the 2017 Super Bowl LI national anthem performer. Luke has placed 18 singles at No.1, sold over 10 million albums and more than 40 million tracks with three billion music streams, and has performed for millions of fans on tour. He recently debuted a new single, “Light It Up,” which is the first song off a new album due out later this year.

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!”

Singer-songwriter, record producer and international superstar Lionel Richie has a discography of albums and singles that are second to none. His music is part of the fabric of pop music; in fact, Richie is one of only two songwriters in history to achieve the honor of having No. 1 records for nine consecutive years. With more than 100 million albums sold worldwide, an Oscar®, a Golden Globe®, four Grammy Awards®, the distinction of MusicCares person of the year in 2016, and Kennedy Center Honoree in 2017, the Tuskegee, Alabama, native is a true music icon. Richie is known for his mega-hits such as “Endless Love,” “Lady,” “Truly,” “All Night Long,” “Penny Lover,” “Stuck on You,” “Hello,” “Say You, Say Me,” “Dancing on the Ceiling,” and one of the most important pop songs in history, “We Are the World,” written with Michael Jackson for USA for Africa.

“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 new judges have been excellently picked and I have a feeling that the show’s upcoming season will be one the most exciting yet! Bring on 2018!

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