Lionel Richie says he didn’t know Katy Perry was leaving ‘American Idol’Lionel Richie says he didn’t know Katy Perry was leaving ‘American Idol’

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Katy Perry announced earlier this week on Jimmy Kimmel Live! that this season will be her final one judging American Idol. When Jimmy asked how her fellow judges, Luke Bryan and Lionel Richie, felt about her departure, she claimed she hadn’t told them yet. Now Lionel has confirmed that’s true.

Appearing on Jimmy Kimmel Live on February 15, Jimmy asked Lionel if he was mad at Katy for not discussing it with him before announcing it on TV. “No, I’m not mad,” Lionel replied. “It just made me run off the road when I heard about it. My phone blew up. But the point was, we didn’t know about it, but it makes sense.”

Noting that the reason he’s on American Idol is because he’s had so much life experience, Lionel said he understood why Katy needs to leave. “When Katy says, ‘I wanna go create some stories’ … you have to take some time and actually be an artist,” he said.

Asked who will replace Katy, Lionel would only say, “It’s gonna be really interesting.” But he said whoever comes next will have to be “humorous forever, and on top of that, knowledgeable.”

When Jimmy suggested Madonna, Lionel said, “Madonna! Give me a call!”

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