Dr. Luke's American Idol stint is over before it began. The songwriter and producer will not be joining Jennifer Lopez and Keith Urban on the 13th season of Fox's hit musical competition after all, a source confirms to Us Weekly.
As first reported by The Hollywood Reporter, the 39-year-old music bigwig (real name: Lukasz Gottwald) ran into some trouble with Sony Music, which signed him to a lucrative contract in 2011. (Sony is in direct competition with Universal Music Group, which produces the American Idol records.)
"It was all a go -- [Sony Music CEO] Doug Morris said it could happen, and then Doug came back and said it can't happen," a source tells Us of why the deal fell through. "They had the lawyers with the contractual stuff about the conflict between Universal and Sony."
THR notes that Luke himself realized the commitment would take away too much time from his own projects. "He really loves his artists and wants to build up the label," a source told the site. (Dr. Luke founded the imprint Kemosabe in 2011; it produces records for Bonnie McKee and Juicy J, among others. He is also behind such chart-topping hits as Kelly Clarkson's "Since U Been Gone," Katy Perry's "California Gurls," and Ke$ha's "Tik Tok.")
Furthermore, the source told THR, "Luke wants to build an entertainment company...after a lot of conversations, both Luke and and Sony Music CEO Doug Morris came to the mutual agreement that taking Dr. Luke out of the Idol running 'was the best thing for all parties.'"
That decision means there's still one spot left to fill on Idol's season 13 judging panel. Among those in the running is talent manager Scooter Braun, whose artists include Justin Bieber, Ariana Grande, and Carly Rae Jepsen. As Us Weekly exclusively reported on Aug. 21, returning judge Lopez is a fan of Braun.
"Jennifer loves Scooter and feels he'd be an excellent choice," a source told Us. "She would love him to be a judge."