Mariah Carey joins ‘American Idol’

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Paula Abdul, Jennifer Lopez and now … Mariah Carey.

Fox just made it official: Carey is the latest successful pop diva to join American Idol. The 42-year-old will join the judges table for season 12.

As reported in this week’s issue of EW, Carey has been the
leading contender to join the panel this summer, which has seen a flurry
of celebrity names floated in the press as possible candidates. Her
salary is expected to be somewhere north of $12 million — the sum paid
Jennifer Lopez during her first year on the show — and possibly as high
as $17 million.

Previously, Simon Cowell was courting Carey as a mentor for X Factor’s second season, though it’s not clear if her Idol announcement precludes an appearance on Fox’s other show.

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