Mariah Carey's status as American Idol's newest star judge will come with a pretty nice paycheck, as sources familiar with the negotiations confirmed she is set to make as much as $18 million for her services.
Carey was confirmed as a judge for Idol's 12th season yesterday during Fox president Kevin Reilly's summer press tour. Ever since Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez both announced that they were leaving "Idol" earlier this month, rumors have been circulating that Carey would join the panel, with manager Randy Jackson reportedly suggesting her involvement to Idol's producers throughout the years.
The one year windfall would make Carey the highest paid judge across the myriad talent shows occupying American television; Lopez's deal clocked in at $12 million her first year and rose to $15 million in her second, while the X Factor's Britney Spears signed on for a reported $15 million earlier this year, according to Entertainment Weekly.
"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,'" Carey said in a statement yesterday. "I'm currently in the studio working on my new album and its first single, 'Triumphant,' which will be out early next month. I can't wait to channel my creative energy as a part of this show which is a massive global phenomenon."
Carey's 14th album will be released in early August by Island Def Jam Music Group. She has 18 No. 1 singles on Billboard's Hot 100 chart -- more than any other solo artist in history. Among all acts, only the Beatles, with 20, have more. She has scored 16 top 10 albums on the Billboard 200 chart, with six of them reaching No. 1. Her most recent studio album, 2009's Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel, debuted and peaked at No. 3 and has sold 540,000 in the U.S. according to Nielsen SoundScan.
The first single from her upcoming album, titled "Triumphant," will be out next month, and will feature Maybach Music Group rappers Rick Ross and Meek Mill. The album title has not yet been announced, but is set to drop later this year.