By Sonya Magett, EnStarz | Jul 23, 2012 04:17 PM EDT
FOX network has just officially confimed that Mariah Carey is the newest addition to join "American Idol." The award-winning singer will join the judges table for season 12 of the hit show.
"It's the biggest recording artist than any of these [singing competition] shows have ever had," Fox Entertainment President Kevin Reilly announced today at the Television Critics Association's summer press tour in Los Angeles, California, according to ETOnline. "It's an artist many of these contestants have tried to emulate. [The deal] only concluded only hours ago. Not being the only game in town we need to keep things fresh."
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"I think I can say it's 100 percent that Jennifer won't be back on the show," Reilly added.
"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!"
Carey later tweeted: "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."
Carey's salary is expected to be somewhere around $12 million - the sum paid Jennifer Lopez during her first year on the show - and possibly as high as $17 million, according to the report.
Veteran judge Randy Jackson, who is also Carey's manager and was involved in her negotiations, is expected to stay on board, though it has yet to be announced.
FOX is now focused on its search for another male judge. Former "American Idol" contestant Adam Lambert is reportedly being considered for the job.
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