It wasn't easy for the producers of the American Idol reboot to pick three judges to star alongside Ryan Seacrest — and it cost them a huge chunk of change! The sixteenth season of the singing competition kicked off in early March with Katy Perry, Luke Bryan, and Lionel Richie at the judge's table, but if you've watched, you may have noticed that the "Swish Swish" songstress has been the most talkative — but it's for good reason, as she actually earns the highest salary on the show!
Though host Ryan is reportedly earning $15 million for the season, Luke and Lionel are banking only $7 million each — partly because of Katy's jaw-dropping salary: $25 million! Needless to say, the singer's big pay day quickly became the talk of the town, but she told fans that she thought she was receiving a fair rate.
"I'm really proud that, as a woman, I got paid. And you know why? I got paid more than like, pretty much any guy that's been on that show. And, by the way, I love men. So I'm a paid woman and I'm ready for a beautiful man," she said. "I really wanted to join this show at the right time. I always have. We've always been in negotiations for several years — it's never been right, but now when they kind of brought it to a new home…it's perfect."
Cecile Frot-Coutaz, one of the show's producers, is also sticking by the big move. "Katy is in a transition in terms of her own career. It has been shown now what these platforms can do for artists. It has been beneficial to other people, whether it's on Idol or The Voice," she told The Hollywood Reporter. "But I think she genuinely cares. She auditioned when she was a guest judge on Idol in 2010 and then on the [U.K.] X-Factor. She's brilliant."