CELEBRITY

'American Idol' Judges Jennifer Lopez, Harry Connick Jr. Confirmed; Randy Jackson Back For Season 13

09/03/2013 10:43 am ET | Updated Sep 03, 2013

"American Idol" has officially announced Harry Connick Jr. and Jennifer Lopez as the new judges alongside Keith Urban.

Original judge Randy Jackson will return to "American Idol" Season 13 as a mentor. Ryan Seacrest returns as host.

"'American Idol' has always been about discovering the next singing superstar, and next season our judging panel will deliver a most impressive combination of talent, wisdom and personality to do just that: Jennifer Lopez, the triple-threat global superstar who loves 'Idol' and whom 'Idol' fans love; Harry Connick, Jr., a bona-fide musical genius and fantastic 'Idol' mentor whose honesty and expertise can help turn these hopefuls into stars; Keith Urban, a multi-Grammy-winning artist who was such a positive force on the show last season. We are also very excited to have our friend Randy Jackson now in a new role as mentor, and the captain of our team -- the heart and soul of 'Idol' -- Ryan Seacrest returning as host," Kevin Reilly, chairman of entertainment at Fox Broadcasting Company, said in a statement.

Seacrest praised the "Idol" family.

“I couldn’t be prouder to be a part of the 'American Idol XIII' family," he said in a statement. "Our new producers, judging panel and mentor are all fired up for this season. I've already witnessed some amazingly talented contestants from around the country during our early auditions, cementing my belief that a new superstar is well within our sights."

Lopez previously judged "American Idol" Seasons 10 and 11 before leaving the series. Her involvement was widely speculated and even confirmed by her boyfriend.

Connick Jr. previously served as a mentor to the "Idol" contestants.

“I have always been a huge fan of 'American Idol' and really enjoyed my time as a mentor on the show,” Connick Jr. said in a statement. "And I am honored that they’ve asked me to be a judge this season. As an entertainer, I am truly excited to bring my perspective to 'American Idol,' and to help emerging performers find their way."

Jackson announced he was leaving "American Idol" after 12 years in May 2013. He's replacing Jimmy Iovine as mentor.

“Surprise, surprise! I am so happy to be back as part of this amazing show that started it all," Jackson said in a statement. "Season 1-3 is the place to be. The original talent show is back with a vengeance and ready to discover the best talent in America."

Urban joined "American Idol" during Season 12 and sat alongside Jackson, Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj. He's the only returning judge from that season.

“I think this season of 'Idol' is gonna be a blast," Urban said in a statement. "New team, new energy and a whole new field of artists to be discovered and given a chance!"

"American Idol" Season 13 premieres January 2014 on Fox.

American Idol Judges Through The Years
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