Lionel Richie Speaks Out On Katy Perry’s ‘American Idol’ Exit

Jimmy Kimmel Live

Katy Perry announced that she is leaving American Idol after seven seasons as a judge.

Fans of the hit reality singing show American Idol received surprising news this week when Katy Perry unexpectedly announced that she will be leaving her role as a judge at the end of the upcoming season. The pop star made a guest appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live where she shared the news. She told Kimmel:

“I think this probably will be my last show, my last season for Idol. I mean I love Idol so much. It’s connected me with the heart of America, but I feel like I need to go out and feel that pulse to my own beat…”

Perry explained that she wants to instead focus on the many projects she has on the horizon, including new music. See Katy Perry share the news in the clip below.

Fellow judges Luke Bryan and Lionel Richie did not know about Katy Perry’s decision to leave Idol.

Since American Idol rebooted in 2018, Katy Perry, Luke Bryan, and Lionel Richie have served as the esteemed panel of judges. When asked by Kimmel what her costars thought of her departure, Perry responded:

“Well, they’ll find out tonight! They figure I’ve been in the studio for a while so they figured something is coming. I love the show so much but I wanna go and see the world and maybe bring new music.”

American Idol / Facebook

Lionel Richie says is “makes sense” that Katy Perry is leaving Idol.

During a visit to the very same stage where Katy Perry made her announcement, Lionel Richie shared his thoughts on her decision. When asked by Jimmy Kimmel how he took the news, Richie expressed that he was not mad and joked:

“It just made me run off the road when I first heard about it. My phone blew up.”

The “Endless Love” singer confirmed that he did not know about Perry’s departure before she shared it live on the air, but communicated his support for her career choice. He shared:

“No, we didn’t know about it, but it makes sense… When Katy says, ‘I want to go and create some stories,’ remember, she’s young. But the point is that you have to take some time and actually be an artist.” 

It has not yet been confirmed who will replace Katy Perry as a judge on future seasons of American Idol. Watch Lionel Richie’s interview on Jimmy Kimmel Live below!