Lionel Richie Reveals Who He Wants To Replace Katy Perry on ‘American Idol’

Jimmy Kimmel Live

Katy Perry will not return to American Idol after this season

The hit reality singing show American Idol has kicked off its 22nd season, and this will be the last season with pop star Katy Perry on the judging panel. Perry shocked viewers when she announced during an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live:

“I think this probably will be my last show, my last season for Idol. I mean I love Idol so much. It’s connected me with the heart of America, but I feel like I need to go out and feel that pulse to my own beat…”

The “Firework” singer added that she instead wants to shift her focus to other projects and to creating new music. Hear it from Katy Perry herself in the clip below.

Fellow Idol judge, Lionel Richie, reacts to news of Katy Perry’s exit

Legendary musician Lionel Richie, who has been a judge alongside Perry since the show’s reboot in 2018, learned of her departure at the same time as the rest of America – when she announced it live on the air. During his own visit to Jimmy Kimmel Live a few days later, Richie weighed in on Perry’s decision to change directions. He said:

“No, we didn’t know about it, but it makes sense… When Katy says, ‘I want to go and create some stories,’ remember, she’s young. But the point is that you have to take some time and actually be an artist.”

American Idol / YouTube

Lionel Richie casts a vote for Katy Perry’s replacement

Later in the conversation, host Jimmy Kimmel asks Richie who he would like to see replace Perry on American Idol.

“You know, they are keeping tight-lipped because I don’t even know, but I’m telling you though, it’s going to be really interesting…” responds Richie. “Whoever is coming on the show has got to be well, [compared to] Katy, you got to be humorous forever. And on top of that, knowledgeable.”

Kimmel playfully suggests that they “whittle it down” to superstars Madonna and Cyndi Lauper, to which Richie reacts:

“Wow! Madonna, if you’re listening… call me.” 

Watch the interview with Lionel Richie on Jimmy Kimmel Live below!