Confirmed: Mariah Carey Signs on as 'Idol' Judge

by Antoinette Bueno 12:29 PM PDT, July 23, 2012
Photo: Getty Images

After months of intense speculation, Mariah Carey has officially signed on as an American Idol judge next season.

Fox Entertainment President Kevin Reilly just confirmed the news today at the Television Critics Association's summer press tour in Los Angeles, California. "I am so excited to be joining Idol," Mariah told reporters, via Reilly's cell phone. "First of all, I wanted to be there today, I wish I could have been there myself to tell you, but this all just happened a little quickly. I can't wait to get started in a couple of months! I will see you in January!"

"It's gonna be so much fun working on @AmericanIdol. As a singer-songwriter, I'm excited to help find and nurture new talent. LYM! --MC," she later tweeted.

Related: Jennifer Lopez Confirms She's Leaving 'Idol'

"We are proud to have one of the world's greatest-ever female singers join our show," American Idol creator and executive producer Simon Fuller said in a statement. "Mariah defines the word 'Idol' and will inspire every singer that has the honor of performing in front of her."

Carey had previously served as a guest mentor on season seven of Idol, which focused on the contestants singing one of the pop diva's numerous hits during Top 7 Week.

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Reilly also confirmed that Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler are "100 percent" done with their Idol stints, but wouldn't confirm the status of the last remaining original Idol judge Randy Jackson -- though he did say that Jackson, Carey's co-manager, was "instrumental" in bringing the five-time Grammy winner to the show.