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Paula Abdul, Jennifer Lopez and now … Mariah Carey.
Fox just made it official: Carey is the latest successful pop diva to join American Idol. The 42-year-old will join the judges table for season 12.
As reported in this week’s issue of EW, Carey has been the leading contender to join the panel this summer, which has seen a flurry of celebrity names floated in the press as possible candidates. Sources conflict on Carey’s salary, putting the number between $15 and $18 million. Either way, Carey is likely taking home more than Lopez’ first year ($12 million) and second year ($15 million) salary on the show. Lopez, sources say, was holding out for $20 million to return for a third round.
“It’s the biggest recording artist than any of these [singing competition] shows have ever had,” Fox entertainment president Kevin Reilly told critics at their press tour in Beverly Hills on Monday. “It’s an artist many contestants have tried to emulate, tried to hit the songs, hit the notes. [The deal] only concluded only hours ago.”
The move comes on the heels of Steven Tyler exiting the hit singing competition, and Fox being unable to convince Lopez to sign on for a third round. Lopez was holding out for a raise beyond her $15 million second-year salary and took to the media to proclaim that she was almost certainly leaving the show. If there was a slight chance of Lopez staying before, it vanished once Fox signed Carey — Fox won’t pay for two high-priced female vocalists.
“I think I can say it’s 100 percent that Jennifer won’t be back on the show,” Reilly said, adding after the panel: “We were waiting for the Mariah deal [to announce Lopez was leaving] … once Jennifer declared she was comfortable moving on, we made the decision.” READ FULL STORY »