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Mariah Carey to be 'American Idol' judge

City News Service | 7/23/2012, 8:54 a.m.

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif.--Five-time Grammy Award-winning singer Mariah Carey will be a judge on "American Idol," Fox Broadcasting announced today.

"I'm so excited to be joining 'Idol,'" Carey said via a cell phone call to members of the Television Critics Association, which is holding its summer press tour in Beverly Hills. "This all kind of just happened real quickly. I can't wait to get started."

Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler announced July 12 that he was leaving as a judge on the Fox Broadcasting singing competition after two seasons. Also departing is Jennifer Lopez, who will not return as a judge for a third season.

Fox Broadcasting Entertainment President Kevin Reilly said Fox is talking with some of "the biggest names in the business'' interested in becoming judges.

"It's just a matter of picking the right people," he said.

Carey has sold more than 200 million records worldwide and her 18 Billboard No. 1 singles are more than any other solo singer in history.

"Mariah Carey is the real deal," said Mike Darnell, Fox's president of alternative entertainment.

"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.

"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,'' he said. "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."