Mariah Carey Named New American Idol Judge!

Entertainment Jul. 23, 2012 AT 3:05PM
Mariah Carey poses for Jenny Craig on November 9, 2011 in New York City.  Mariah Carey poses for Jenny Craig on November 9, 2011 in New York City. Credit: Dimitrios Kambouris/WireImage.com

Out with the old and in with the new!

As Us Weekly first reported July 12, Mariah Carey was in talks to become a judge on the twelfth season of American Idol -- and now it's a done deal. "As a singer, songwriter and producer, it's going to be fun and rewarding to help find new talent and give back with American Idol," the five-time Grammy Award winner said in a statement July 23.

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"I'm currently in the studio working on my new album and its first single, 'Triumphant,' which will be out early next month," Carey added. "I can't wait to channel my creative energy as a part of this show which is a massive global phenomenon."

American Idol creator and executive producer Simon Fuller, 52, says he is "proud to have one of the world's greatest-ever female singers join our show. Mariah defines the word 'Idol' and will inspire every singer that has the honor of performing in front of her."

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Carey's hiring comes just weeks after Jennifer Lopez, 42, and Steven Tyler, 64, announced their departures from the FOX smash. Judge Randy Jackson, 56, is expected to return for Season 12; he has been with the show since its inception in 2002.

"Randy has been working with Mariah for a long long time and is her co-manager," Kevin Reilly, president of entertainment for FOX, said. "Randy was very instrumental in doing this deal."

Carey served as a guest mentor during Season 7 of American Idol, with David Cook covering her hit "Always Be My Baby," Jason Castro singing her smash "I Don't Wanna Cry" and Carly Smithson eliciting applause for her rendition of "Without You."

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Previous American Idol judges include Simon Cowell, 52, Paula Abdul, 50, Kara DioGuardi, 41, and Ellen DeGeneres, 54. "I am so excited to be on Idol," Carey tells Us. "I can't wait to get started!"

Tell Us: Are you excited to see Mariah Carey as an American Idol judge?

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