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Lionel Richie and Luke Bryan officially join 'American Idol'

Luke Bryan, left, and Lionel Richie will join the "American Idol" judges panel. (Al Wagner, left, and Joel Ryan / Invision/Associated Press)
Luke Bryan, left, and Lionel Richie will join the "American Idol" judges panel. (Al Wagner, left, and Joel Ryan / Invision/Associated Press)

Pop legend Lionel Richie and country music star Luke Bryan are taking a seat at the judges table for ABC's revival of "American Idol" next year.

The pair will join Katy Perry for the return of the singing competition series, which originated on Fox. Ryan Seacrest, as previously announced, will be reprising his role as host. 

"As a singer, songwriter and producer, I feel I can bring a great deal of experience to the table," Richie said in a statement Friday. "It’s going to be so much fun!”

Bryan promised viewers the relaunch of the series is "gonna be a blast."

“I’m excited at the chance to help some deserving artists reach their dreams,” Bryan said in a statement. “To be in a position in my career to help facilitate this along with the other judges is just a complete honor.”

For Bryan and Richie, a turn on "American Idol" adds another layer to their entwined history. Bryan often performs Richie's songs during his concerts. And Richie, who has deepened his roots in country music (even releasing an album of his best-known songs rerecorded as duets with country artists), shared the stage with Bryan during the CMT Artists of the Year ceremony in 2013. And just last year, Bryan was part of the Grammy Awards tribute to Richie.

“In their respective genres of music, both Luke and Lionel possess insurmountable popularity and award-winning talent that are undeniable, and we are lucky that they will help in paving the way for hopefuls pursuing their dreams on our stage," Channing Dungey, president of ABC Entertainment, said in a statement.

The judges panel will make its debut appearance on ABC's "Good Morning America" on Oct. 4. "American Idol" is slated to premiere in March 2018 on ABC.

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