Not Even Jennifer Lopez, Only One Female Musician Comes Close to Rivaling Simon Cowell’s American Idol Salary

One pop star judge on 'American Idol' receives a whopping $25 million paycheck per season.

Not Even Jennifer Lopez, Only One Female Musician Comes Close to Rivaling Simon Cowell's American Idol Salary

SUMMARY

  • After Simon Cowell, Katy Perry is the highest paid American Idol judge in the show's history.
  • She surpassed the salaries of other pop stars including Jennifer Lopez and Mariah Carey.
  • Perry received a paycheck of $25 million per season for her seven seasons on the show.
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Over its past 21 seasons, American Idol has had several famous judges including Simon Cowell, Jennifer Lopez, and Mariah Carey. But for the new generation fans of the show, Katy Perry is one of the show’s most iconic judges. She is the only female musician who came close to Simon Cowell’s whopping $36 million salary on the show. Perry was offered $25 million when ABC took up the show from FOX and rebooted it with a new judging panel.

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Simon Cowell in American Idol
Simon Cowell in American Idol

Katy Perry’s massive American Idol salary becomes notable once again, especially since the Fireworks singer revealed that she was leaving the show after its current 22nd season. Perry revealed that she will be focusing on her music career after exiting her judging gig.

Not Jennifer Lopez, Katy Perry Received The Largest Paycheck After Simon Cowell

Not Jennifer Lopez or Mariah Carey, Katy Perry is the highest paid American Idol judge after Simon Cowell
Not Jennifer Lopez or Mariah Carey, Katy Perry is the highest-paid American Idol judge after Simon Cowell

American Idol audiences have enjoyed many talented judges on the show over the years. Simon Cowell gained significant recognition from the reality TV audience once he began appearing on the show. He was one of the co-creators of the show alongside Simon Fuller.

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His brutally honest comments, which came with a tinge of sarcasm, immediately connected with the audience. Until the eighth season of American Idol, Cowell was earning around $36 million to judge a season (via CNN). The huge salary was justified since the show and its success could both be credited to the record executive.

When Cowell left the show after Season 9 to be a judge and executive producer of The X Factor, reports suggested that he was offered $45 million a season for seasons 9, 10, and 11 (via MTV). Very few judges were paid half as good as Cowell on the show. Jennifer Lopez received $12 million and $15 million on Seasons 10 and 11 respectively. For her return in Season 13 in 2013, The Mother actress struck a deal of $17.5 million per season (via The Daily Mail).

However, Jennifer Lopez is not even close to Katy Perry‘s massive paycheck for ABC’s rebooted version of American Idol. According to Page Six, the Roar singer was offered $25 million to judge Season 16 in 2018. While Perry’s salary was impressive, it also created some drama at ABC.

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Katy Perry’s Huge Salary Did Not Sit Well With Many At ABC

Lionel Richie, Katy Perry, and Luke Bryan in American Idol
Lionel Richie, Katy Perry, and Luke Bryan in American Idol

While bringing Katy Perry on American Idol boosted the show’s reach, not everyone at ABC was happy about the decision. An insider source revealed to Page Six that the executives had only planned $50 million for bringing in known faces on the show. However, ABC President Ben Sherwood blew the budget on Katy Perry. This meant that they had to pay the other judges way less. The source told Page Six:

“[CEO/President] Ben Sherwood blew the budget on Katy without thinking how that would impact other areas of the show budget. He gambled on her because of her appeal to a younger audience and huge social-media following. But Katy is effectively taking money from the other judges, who then had to be paid way less.”

Perry’s co-judges Luke Bryan and Lionel Richie were both offered $2.5 million. Both of them felt insulted by the substantially low salary and renegotiated with ABC. Their current salary for judging the show is $7 million each. Interestingly, host Ryan Seacrest receives a salary of $15 million.

During her appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live!, Katy Perry revealed that she was leaving the show after the 22nd season. It was her first time announcing it as she revealed that even her co-judges didn’t know about her potential exit. The first episode of American Idol Season 22 premiered on February 18, Sunday, on ABC.

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Written by Hashim Asraff

Articles Published: 1263

Hashim, Entertainment Writer. With over 1000 published articles on FandomWire, he covers a wide range of topics from celebrity life to comic book movies. He holds a Masters degree in Sociology and his expertise proves invaluable in handling sensitive news. His passion for crime investigation thrillers has turned him into a detective, exploring the darkest corners of the internet during his research.