Lionel Richie Is Officially Joining “American Idol”
Lionel Richie has finalized his deal to join “American Idol” as their newest judge.
The move to secure Richie completes the revived singing competition’s on-camera talent roster for its first season on the ABC network, with Richie joining fellow judges Luke Bryan and Katy Perry as well as returning host Ryan Seacrest. With shooting on live auditions supposedly set to begin Tuesday, ABC faced the possibility of having to delay the start of production if the judges table had not been set–but with Richie finalizing his deal, the show is back on schedule.
As such a legendary musician, Richie was said by sources to be a favorite choice of Katy Perry, and had for months been in engaged in on-again, off-again talks. It is said that he backed away from discussions after fielding a lowball offer from ABC. After signing Perry in a $25 million deal and Ryan Seacrest a deal for $15 million, that left fewer than $10 million in the initial talent budget laid out for the show. After searching for other options, it seems Richie and ABC were finally able to come to terms with an agreement.