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Meet the Newest Big-Name ‘American Idol’ Judge

Mariah Carey will be paid $18 million for her new role


American Idol fans mourning the exit of beloved judges Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez might find solace in knowing that there’s a new superstar in town.

Fox confirmed Monday that legendary recording artist Mariah Carey will join the judges’ panel for season 12 of the televised talent show. According to an Idol insider, Carey signed an $18 million one-year contract with a renewal option, The Associated Press reports.

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Former Idol judge Simon Cowell offered his opinion on Carey’s new gig, saying he thinks “she’ll be great” in the role, although he hinted that the diva’s kind heart could present a few challenges.

“I’m happy for her, actually,” Cowell told the AP. “I like Mariah. I think she’s going to find it difficult to say no. You’ve got to say no to people and she’s sweet.”

Idol is still looking for a dynamic personality to fill Tyler’s shoes, and it says some of the “biggest names in the business” are interested. It’s also unknown if  Randy Jackson is returning as a judge, although Jackson has said on various occasions that he will have some type of role on the show.

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