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[09/29/17 - 12:11 PM]
Country Music Superstar Luke Bryan and Music Icon Lionel Richie Round Out Judges Panel for "American Idol" on ABC
The panel will make their debut appearance on ABC's "Good Morning America" on Wednesday, October 4.

[via press release from ABC]

COUNTRY MUSIC SUPERSTAR LUKE BRYAN AND MUSIC ICON LIONEL RICHIE ROUND OUT JUDGES PANEL FOR 'AMERICAN IDOL' ON ABC

Luke Bryan and Lionel Richie have signed on as judges for the beloved music competition series "American Idol" for its first season on ABC. They round out the panel of judges, alongside judge Katy Perry. Ryan Seacrest will return to host the series. The panel will make their debut appearance on ABC's "Good Morning America" on Wednesday, October 4.

"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,'" 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!"

"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."

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."

Peter Hurwitz, CEO and president of 19 Entertainment-parent Core Media Group, said, "This extraordinary panel of judges speaks volumes about the continued power of the iconic 'American Idol' brand. We are thrilled to have Lionel Richie and Luke Bryan join Katy Perry and, ultimately, millions of viewers as we begin this new era on ABC."

Yesterday, Bryan kicked off his ninth annual Farm Tour performing in six cities through October 7. Since the tour's inception in 2009, Bryan has awarded 50 scholarships to a local student from a farming family within the communities the tour has played. Bryan will also continue his Huntin', Fishin' and Lovin' Every Day Tour through October.

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.

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(R), a Golden Globe(R), four Grammy Awards(R), 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. His song catalog also includes his early work with The Commodores, where he developed a groundbreaking style that defied genre categories, penning smashes such as "Three Times a Lady," "Still" and "Easy."

Richie launched his Las Vegas headlining residency show, Lionel Richie - All the Hits, at The AXIS at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino in April 2016. In an unforgettable evening featuring his brightest and best anthems which have defined the music icon's unparalleled career, Richie takes his fans on a spectacular musical journey, performing a variety of his seminal hits. With his most recent All the Hits, All Night Long Tour, Richie sold out arenas worldwide with a set list of his brightest and best anthems. In recent years, he also headlined festivals including Bonnaroo, Outside Lands and Glastonbury, drawing the festival's biggest crowd ever with more than 200,000 attendees.

When "American Idol" debuted in the U.S., the series revolutionized television, pioneering the reality-competition genre and holding an unmatched record for being the highest-rated series for nearly a decade. The series also ushered in second-screen audience participation, being the first to introduce text-based and mobile voting. The "Idol" format has taken on original versions in 55 countries around the world, and "American Idol" itself has played to a worldwide audience of over 460 million across 53 countries. At its new home on ABC, "American Idol" will continue to be a force in the television landscape, reaching every corner of the country in its search for the next great music sensation.

"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.

ABOUT ABC ENTERTAINMENT

ABC Entertainment airs compelling programming across all day parts, with new fall shows including "The Good Doctor," "Kevin (Probably) Saves the World" and "The Mayor"; and current hits such as groundbreaking dramas "Designated Survivor," "Quantico," "Scandal" "How to Get Away with Murder," "Grey's Anatomy," "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." and "Once Upon a Time." The ABC Television Network is also home to the award-winning "Modern Family" and trailblazing comedy favorites "black-ish," "American Housewife," "Fresh Off the Boat," "The Goldbergs," "The Middle" and "Speechless"; hit game shows "$100,000 Pyramid," "Celebrity Family Feud," "Match Game" and "To Tell the Truth"; reality phenomenon "Shark Tank," iconic "The Bachelor" franchise, long-running hits "Dancing with the Stars" and "America's Funniest Home Videos," and the return of "American Idol"; "General Hospital," which has aired for over 50 years on the network, along with daytime talk show "The Chew"; and late-night talk show "Jimmy Kimmel Live." The network also boasts some of television's most prestigious awards shows, including "The Oscars(R)," "The CMA Awards," "The American Music Awards" and "The Billboard Music Awards."

About FremantleMedia North America

FremantleMedia North America (FMNA) is the U.S. arm of global media giant FremantleMedia, which includes a distribution arm, FremantleMedia International, a digital and branded entertainment division and a kids & family entertainment business. As one of the world's largest and most successful creators, producers and distributors of TV brands in the world, FremantleMedia's comprehensive global network has operations in 31 countries, creating over 10,000 hours of programming a year, rolling out more than 45 formats and managing over 350 individual titles. The company also distributes more than 20,000 hours of content in over 200 territories. For more information follow us @FMNATV and visit our Facebook page.

About CORE Media Group

CORE Media Group (CMG) is a leading independent media and entertainment company that creates quality programming for linear television and digital platforms through its in-house creative team, as well as a myriad of partnerships with well-established industry leaders including Sharp Entertainment and B-17. Through CMG's19 Entertainment, it co-produces "American Idol," the gold standard of music competition programs, and the enduring franchise, "So You Think You Can Dance" (returning on FOX for a 14th season). CMG's 19 Recordings has been a part of the successful music careers of platinum artists Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood, Daughtry and Colton Dixon, just to name a few. The newest television series under the CORE umbrella include "The Wall" for NBC and "Caraoke Showdown" for Spike.





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· AMERICAN IDOL (ABC)





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