The success of American Idol, which is one of the longest running reality singing competitions in the country, has been described as unparalleled in broadcasting history and spawned massive superstars including Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood, Jennifer Hudson, Chris Daughtry and more. Idol’s judging panel, which has changed many times in years past, is also full of superstars with singers Lionel Richie, Katy Perry and Luke Bryan who preside over the judges table to provide their critiques to the contestants. Get to know the judging panel, and of course, Ryan Seacrest, who has been the host of Idol since its inception in 2002.
On the radio, Atlanta, GA, native Ryan Seacrest is the host of On Air with Ryan Seacrest, his No. 1 nationally syndicated Los Angeles morning drive-time show, as well as a nationally syndicated Top 40 radio show.
On television, Seacrest is co-host and executive producer of the talk show Live with Kelly and Ryan. He is also host and executive producer of ABC’s annual New Year’s Eve program, Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest. Seacrest helms Ryan Seacrest Productions, an Emmy-winning entertainment production company and also has a burgeoning lifestyle enterprise, which includes a menswear collection, Ryan Seacrest Distinction that is sold exclusively at Macy’s.
His philanthropic efforts include serving as chairman of the Ryan Seacrest Foundation, which has opened 10 broadcast media centers—Seacrest Studios—in pediatric hospitals in cities across the country. Seacrest also serves on the board of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.
Katy Perry, who was born in Santa Barbara, CA, made her Capitol Records debut with her 2008 album, One of the Boys after signing to the label in 2007. She cemented her status as a global superstar with her follow-up album, Teenage Dream in 2010. Prism, her 2013 album, debuted at No. 1 on iTunes in 100 countries and has sold more than 12.5 million adjusted albums worldwide. With singles “Roar,” “Firework” and “Dark Horse” each surpassing the 10 million threshold, Perry is the only artist to earn three RIAA Digital Single Diamond awards. In her 10 years with Capitol, she has racked up a cumulative 18 billion streams alongside worldwide sales of more than 40 million adjusted albums and 125 million tracks. Perry is the most followed person globally on Twitter and the first to surpass 100 million followers.
Born in Leesburg, GA, country music superstar Luke Bryan is a two-time Academy of Country Music and Country Music Association Entertainer of the Year, a five-time host of the ACM Awards and performer of the national anthem at the Super Bowl in 2017. He has sold more than 10 million albums, 40 million tracks and his songs have been streamed more than three billion times. He has had 18 career No. 1 singles and has headlined arena tours and sold-out stadiums across the U.S., performing for more than 5.6 million fans in the last three years alone. When the sixth song from his Kill the Lights album hit the top of the chart, Bryan became the only artist in the 27-year history of the Billboard Country Airplay chart to garner six No. 1 singles from one album. Bryan’s previous two albums, Tailgates & Tanlines and Crash My Party, both generated five No. 1 singles. What Makes You Country, the sixth studio album from Bryan, was released at the end of 2017, and the first single, “Light It Up,” was co-written by him.
International superstar Lionel Richie’s music is part of the fabric of pop music. Richie is one of only two songwriters in history to achieve the honor of having No. 1 records for nine consecutive years. Other career highlights include more than 100 million albums sold worldwide, an Academy Award, a Golden Globe, four Grammy Awards, the distinction of MusicCares Person of the Year and a Kennedy Center honoree. Born in Tuskegee, AL, Richie is known for hits such as “Endless Love,” “Truly,” “All Night Long,” “Penny Lover,” “Stuck on You,” “Hello,” “Say You, Say Me,” “Dancing on the Ceiling” and one of the most important pop songs in history, “We Are the World,” which he wrote with Michael Jackson. His song catalog also includes his early work with the Commodores, where he developed a groundbreaking style that defied genre categories, penning smashes such as “Three Times a Lady,” “Still” and “Easy.”