Lionel Richie Tells Katy Perry’s Replacement What They Must Bring to ‘American Idol’

During the season finale of American Idol Sunday night, fans tuned in to not only cheer on their favorite finalists but to honor Katy Perry. Spending the last seven years on the show, the season finale marked the end for Perry, who not only helped singers find their voice but nurtured a loving friendship with Lionel Richie and Luke Bryan. While sad to see her leave, American Idol filled the night with memorable performances and a tribute that proved just how much the singer meant to the show. With the producers searching for Perry’s replacement, Richie shared the requirements to become the next judge on American Idol

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Over the last few weeks, fans have anxiously awaited to see who will replace Perry on the show. With stars like Meghan Trainor, Jon Bon Jovi, and Jelly Roll rumored to be in the running, Richie decided to offer some advice on what makes a perfect judge. “You’ve got to bring your character. Be who you are. Katy’s Katy. It’s like singing a Whitney Houston song. Don’t try to sing it like Whitney; interpret it.” Besides needing personality and a dash of quirkiness, the hitmaker added they needed to “tolerate two crazy brothers like me and Luke.”

Appearing to give the secrets of judging, Richie explained how any artist can sing, but to flourish on American Idol, “you’ve gotta be confident of your space. You know who you are and you’ll last forever here. … It’s got to be somebody that identifies with the young culture.”

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Lionel Richie Remembers Special Times With Katy Perry On ‘American Idol’

As for Perry, she also offered some tips when joking the only reason she was leaving was so she “can’t get fired.” Wanting the new judge to thrive, she continued, “The qualities I hope for are someone that is honest. Someone that is constructive with their words. Someone that is leading with their heart – heart-centered and less ego – and isn’t afraid to speak their mind and isn’t afraid if sometimes that’s polarizing, isn’t afraid of negative comments, isn’t afraid of getting booed just as long as they are speaking their mind and true to themselves.”

Taking a trip down memory lane on American Idol, Richie remembered meeting both Perry and Bryan for the first time. “We were a trainwreck when we first met. I knew Katy, I knew Luke, but we had never worked together.”

With Richie learning to go with the flow, he seemed to bask in the memories. “Once we realized that Katy’s going to come out of her clothes somewhere during the course of the show – a malfunction is going to happen – and Luke is going to eat the pizza and drop it on his lap, it’s enough to keep you on pins. But it worked. I’m going to miss this group.”

(Photo by Momodu Mansaray/Getty Images)

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