New 'American Idol' Judges Say Diversity Is Their Strength

Country star Luke Bryan, pop queen Katy Perry and funk master Lionel Richie may not have much in common when it comes to their musical style, but it's that diversity that will make for a great American Idol reboot, Perry thinks.

"We all have our strengths and I think that we are a very diverse panel and I think we all can give a different perspective," she said during a recent sit-down with Universal Music Group. "Lionel tells a lot of incredible stories and people come in singing Whitney and Prince, and he's like, 'Oh, well, those are my homies.' "

Getting ready for this new season of American Idol has been the first time any of the judges have spent time together, but the group says they already feel like family.

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"(Luke's) one of those guys you meet and you swear he's been a part of your life forever," Richie said. "I'm going back to check my yearbook. I'm going back to check The Commodores; I know he was in the band somewhere, but he's got that personality."

Bryan said even through their differences, the judges take their task of finding the country's best singing talent very seriously.

Gather round family 🎹 @lionelrichie @lukebryan @katyperry #TheNextIdol

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"To be on this ride with them and to see how serious they take it and how important it is. It's an undertaking and a challenge that, when I started saying my opinion on the first day and they started agreeing with it, I was like, 'Hell yes, I'm gonna be okay. We're on the same page,'" he said. "I was very flattered that I could come in and be the ole country boy voice. But back to them, I mean obviously huge fans of everything that they've done from the word go."

Bryan also opened up about hearing Perry's first hit single, "I Kissed a Girl" when he was just starting to tour in 2008.

"I haven't ever even told Katy this ... I was just starting touring and I got my band guys on the bus and I was like, 'Guys, this is what a huge ass pop hit sounds like.' " he said.

In addition to the obvious chemistry among the judges, Perry said fans can expect a huge amount of talent this season.


"We have a lot of fun, obviously, but we are really looking for talent and talent is presenting itself," she continued. "It's funny because I kept on saying I think that everything's been discovered, every stone has been turned, every diamond has been polished, and I feel like actually we're finding pretty great stuff."

American Idol is scheduled to premiere in March 2018.