Katy Perry Defends Justin Bieber to Lionel Richie: ‘He’s Extremely Talented’

Katy Perry, Justin Bieber, and Lionel Richie ABC/Craig Sjodin; Kevin Mazur/AMA2015/WireImage; ABC/Craig Sjodin

A Belieber through and through! Katy Perry stood up for Justin Bieber after fellow American Idol judge Lionel Richie seemingly slighted his singing abilities.

Us Weekly caught up with Perry, 33, Richie, 68, and Luke Bryan after the American Idol Top 10 Reveal Live Show on Monday, April 23. Richie took a jab at Bieber, 24, when the judges spoke candidly about eliminating talented artists from the show.

“You know, you look at it and you think, ‘OK, if you can hit every note perfectly, why isn’t everybody a superstar?’ said the “Endless Love” crooner. “The answer is because it’s called a unique quality. If you look at Willie Nelson for a second, can he hit a gospel note? Um, no! And [Justin] Bieber, he doesn’t hit a high note.”

The “Swish Swish” songstress then stepped in and came to the “Friends” singer’s defense. “He hits a high note,” she affirmed. Richie quipped back, “I’m just saying.”

Bryan chimed in too, teasing Perry, “You defend Bieber, you love some Bieber!”

But the “Chained to the Rhythm” singer didn’t shy away from backing the “Company” crooner’s abilities. “I mean, he’s extremely talented,” she gushed.

Richie and Bieber go way back, as the “What Do You Mean” singer made headlines in August 2016 when he stepped out with Commodores alum’s daughter, Sofia Richie. The pair’s whirlwind relationship lasted for six weeks and included romantic getaways to Mexico and Japan.

The 19-year-old model gushed about her relationship with the “Sorry” singer while speaking to Billboard at the time. “Justin is very easy to talk to and that’s hard to find with people in Los Angeles,” she explained. However, her famous father has refused to comment on the romance.

“I’m not going there,” Lionel told TMZ in September 2016 when asked about Sofia’s then-beau. “I have strict orders not to go there.”

Meanwhile, Sofia laughed and said “this is so uncomfortable” before running off.

This is not the first time that Lionel has joked about one of his daughter’s flames. Back in October, the “Hello” singer exclusively told Us Weekly that he’s “scared to death” that Sofia is dating Scott Disick, who is 15 years her senior.

“Have I been in shock?! I’m the dad, come on,” he added of the relationship, which became official in September 2017.

Reporting by Taylor Ferber

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