Katy Perry’s replacement on American Idol, according to Lionel Richie, should be this former contestant from the show


Hint: It’s a big-name pop singer! for Katy replacement

Lionel Richie is gearing up for a change on American Idol! The 74-year-old judge is getting ready to bid farewell to Katy Perry at the season’s end and already has some big names in mind to step in.

“Replacing Katy requires someone with humor and no big ego, because we’ll be teasing each other a lot,” Richie shared with ET’s Denny Directo after Monday’s live show.

Interestingly, Richie bumped into Kelly Clarkson, the very first American Idol winner, over the weekend and believes she would be an ideal fit for the judge’s panel.

“I didn’t want to bring it up,” Richie confessed about the vacant judge’s spot. “But I definitely dropped some hints. You know how it is, Kelly, we go way back.”


Lionel Richie and Kelly Clarkson appeared on The Kelly Clarkson Show in 2019. – Image credit: Adam Christopher/NBCUniversal/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

He also mentioned the talk show host, who has previously served as a judge on The Voice, saying, “Kelly, if your schedule allows, I’d like to put that out there. I’m a big fan!”

But Richie didn’t just stop at that. He aimed high, even considering the biggest star of the moment — Taylor Swift.

“By the way, Taylor, if you’re free, we’d love to have you join us. Give me a call!” he joked. Richie, Katy, and Luke Bryan are currently serving as judges this season, but Perry intends to step down after the finale. She previously shared with ET her reasons for leaving.

“I’m simply making room for other opportunities,” she told ET. “Leaving this show doesn’t mean I’m disappearing to an island to retire, although that would be amazing. I’ll be diving into new projects.”


Luke Bryan, Katy Perry, Lionel Richie, and Ryan Seacrest pictured together following American Idol’s live shows. – Image credit: Monica Schipper/Getty Images

In addition to Lionel Richie’s suggestions, pop star Meghan Trainor also appeared as a coach during Monday’s show, offering valuable insights to the contestants.
“I’ve always found Meghan to be incredibly fun. It’s part of her brand to bring joy,” Bryan told ET. “[She’s] really quick-witted, too, which is great.”

Host Ryan Seacrest concurred, stating, “She did a fantastic job. Meghan is an incredibly talented individual, with a fantastic sense of humor. She brings energy and spontaneity.” American Idol airs on Sundays and Mondays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on ABC, with streaming available the following day on Hulu.

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