Season 22 will be Katy Perry’s last as a judge on American Idol. After the singer announced her departure from the show in February 2024, fans are wondering why she made the decision to leave.

Why Is Katy Perry Leaving ‘American Idol’?

“I think this probably will be my last show, my last season for Idol,” Katy said on the February 12, 2024, episode of Jimmy Kimmel Live! “I love Idol so much. It’s connected me with the heart of America. But I feel like I need to go out and feel that pulse to my own beat, you know what I’m saying, Jimmy?”

She later added, “I love the show so much but I wanna go and see the world and maybe bring new music.” However, she didn’t shut down the possibility of returning in the future. “Maybe I’ll come back if they’ll have me one day,” Katy said.

why is katy perry leaving american idol her departure

The musician echoed the statement with Entertainment Tonight in a story published on April 16, 2024.

“I’m just trying to make space for other things,” Katy told the outlet. “It’s not like me ending this show means I’m going to go retire on an island, even though that would be fabulous. I’m gonna go to work.”

When the pop star made her announcement, it had been more than three years since the release of her last album, Smile, in 2020.

Is Katy Perry Releasing New Music?

When one door closes, another one opens. Along with her American Idol announcement, Katy hinted that she has new music on the way.

When Jimmy [Kimmel] asked if the “Roar” singer’s fellow Idol judges, Luke Bryan and Lionel Richie, knew about her decision, she responded, “They know that I have some things planned for this year. So it’s going to be a very, very exciting year for all popstar girlies!” She also confirmed that she’s been “in the studio,” which she said Luke and Lionel were aware of.

While Katy didn’t get a chance to tour for Smile due to the COVID-19 pandemic, she did have a residency in Las Vegas throughout 2022 and 2023. It concluded on November 4, 2023.

When Is Katy Perry’s Last Episode of ‘American Idol’?

Season 22 of American Idol premieres on February 18, 2024. An airdate for the finale has not been confirmed yet but will likely be the second to last Sunday in May (May 19, 2024), based on the timeline of previous seasons.

The beginning of season 22 was previously filmed, with live shows generally starting to air in April.

What Is Katy Perry’s ‘American Idol’ Salary?

American Idol was quite a lucrative deal for Katy. Her salary for working on the show was $25 million, according to multiple reports.

“I’m really proud that as a woman I got paid,” she said in 2017, ahead of her first season as a judge. “And you know why? I got paid, like, more than pretty much any guy that’s been on the show. And, by the way, I love men.”

The hitmaker also hinted that money mattered when she accepted the job. “I really wanted to join the show at the right time,” she explained. “I always have. We’ve always been in negotiations for several years. It’s never been right. But now, when they kind of, like, brought it to a new home [on ABC] … it’s perfect.”

The first 16 seasons of American Idol aired on Fox from 2000-2016. After a brief hiatus, the show moved to ABC beginning with season 17 in 2018.