Mariah Carey

Mariah Carey Joins ‘American Idol’ as New Judge

Mariah Carey is taking a seat at the judges’ table. The Grammy-winning diva has joined the cast of “American Idol.”

After rumors surfaced last week, the official announcement was made today by FOX. Mariah will make her debut on the 12th season of “Idol” in January 2013.

“As a singer, songwriter, and producer, it’s going to be fun and rewarding to help find new talent and give back with ‘American Idol’,” said the platinum pop star. “I’m currently in the studio working on my new album and its first single, ‘Triumphant,’ which will be out early next month. I can’t wait to channel my creative energy as a part of this show which is a massive global phenomenon.”

“Idol” creator and executive producer Simon Fuller welcome her to the family. “We are proud to have one of the world’s greatest-ever female singers join our show,” he said. “Mariah defines the word ‘Idol’ and will inspire every singer that has the honor of performing in front of her.”

Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler announced their departure from the show earlier this month. Mariah, who is good friends with current judge Randy Jackson, appeared as a mentor to the contestants on Season 7.

Mariah is gearing up for the release of her new single “Triumphant (Get ‘Em)” featuring Rick Ross and Meek Mill.

UPDATE: According to TMZ, Mariah’s “Idol” contract is worth $18 million for one year, which would make her the highest-paid judge in reality telvision. J.Lo reportedly earned $12 million for her first year on the show, while Britney Spears netted $15 million for “X Factor.”