Mariah Carey will join American Idol as a new judge, it was announced today in a statement distributed at the Television Critics Association Press Tour in Los Angeles.
"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 Carey. "I can't wait to channel my creative energy as a part of this show which is a massive global phenomenon."
Carey is the first new Idol judge to be named following the recent departures of both Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez. Carey was rumored to be a possible replacement, while Aretha Franklin, Charlie Sheen and previous runner-up Adam Lambert have also expressed interest in occupying one of the chairs.
"We are proud to have one of the world's greatest-ever female singers join our show," said Simon Fuller, Idol's creator and executive producer. "Mariah defines the word 'Idol' and will inspire every singer that has the honor of performing in front of her."
Carey also noted that she was in the studio working on a new record and its first single, "Triumphant," which she hopes to release early next month.
No word yet on who will join Carey and longtime judge Randy Jackson as Idol's third judge.
"Mariah Carey is the real deal. Not only is she one of the best-selling artists and performers on the planet and one of the world's most gifted vocalists, she also is a successful songwriter, record producer and actress," said Mike Darnell, President of Alternative Entertainment at Fox. "She has a deep knowledge of music and a career insight that will make her a really amazing asset to our judges' table and to our contestants. It's the dream of almost everyone who auditions for Idol to sing like Mariah and we couldn't be happier to have her be part of the show."