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'American Idol' reportedly in talks with Lionel Richie to serve as judge with Katy Perry

By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 06/26/2017 

American Idol is reportedly in talks with Lionel Richie to judge the upcoming ABC revival.

According to production sources of the reality singing competition, Richie secretly met with Idol producers last week in regards to him possibly joining the show, TMZ reported.

Show executives reportedly had a sit-down conversation with the legendary singer and producer for two hours, and they loved him.

The sources say Richie would be a great addition to American Idol, which already confirmed pop icon Katy Perry will be sitting on the judging panel for Season 16 next year.

American Idol producers like Richie's "vibe," TMZ reported, and he'd be considered the "nice judge."

That doesn't mean Perry will be like a Simon Cowell, however. Since producers reportedly view her as a sweetheart as well, the third judge -- whom producers have not yet identified -- will be critical. It remains to be seen whether ABC will want a harsh and brutally-honest judge like Simon or a kind and charming panel of judges all around.

Producers are holding off on negotiations with Richie until Ryan Seacrest's deal to resume hosting American Idol is set in stone. Seacrest has allegedly agreed to a contract of $10-15 million to host the show but is also asking for the title of an executive producer -- a request that is being met with resistance.

"I've always loved the show," Seacrest, 42, told The Hollywood Reporter earlier this month. "And if I could do it forever, I would do it forever... Who am I if not the American Idol guy?"

American Idol ended with Season 15 in April 2016 on Fox, when Trent Harmon was crowned champion.

Seacrest admitted there was always a part of him that believed American Idol would return to television after telling viewers "goodbye -- for now" at the end of the series' finale last year.

"Idol was still firing on cylinders, even if it wasn't all of the cylinders of its heyday, and it still had a fan base," Seacrest told The Reporter, although he said no "real conversations" were had at that point about its return.

ABC then officially revealed it had picked up Idol for a sixteenth-season revival in May 2017.

Perry accepted a $25 million offer to serve as a judge on the new season, but she's the only confirmed talent as of now.

American Idol's auditions are reportedly set to begin in mid-August and stop in 19 cities.

Lionel Richie/Instagram

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