American Idol Season 15 Judges — Here's Who's Coming Back and Who's Not

The final season of Fox's American Idol will premiere Jan. 6, marking the end of the singing competition show's 15-season-long run. In May, the network announced that the 15th season of the show would include veteran judges and American musicians Jennifer Lopez, Keith Urban and Harry Connick, Jr., and that longtime host and television and radio personality Ryan Seacrest would return for the final season.

According to the New York Times, at the height of its popularity, American Idol drew north of 30 million viewers and, for eight years, held the No. 1 spot for television shows on broadcast television. 

Urban, Lopez and Connick, Jr.
Source: 
Dan Steinberg/AP

"American Idol, the original music show phenomenon, returns for its 15th – and final – season in January 2016, along with host Ryan Seacrest and judges Jennifer Lopez, Keith Urban and Harry Connick, Jr," Fox said in a statement. "It will be the ultimate celebration – a tribute to the past 14 seasons, the amazingly talented contestants and the millions of fans who tweeted, texted and championed their Idols."

Seacrest
Source: 
Randy Holmes/Getty Images

"From the first-ever Idol winner, Kelly Clarkson, who continues to dominate the charts with three Grammy Awards under her belt; to Season Four winner Carrie Underwood, who has sold 15 million albums worldwide, with 16 No. 1 singles and five Grammy Awards, to Season 11 winner Phillip Phillips, whose debut single, 'Home,' has become the best-selling single of any Idol to date, American Idol is a bona fide cultural phenomenon," Fox continued in the statement. 

Here's just three of American Idol's most successful musicians, according to Fox:

Kelly Clarkson
Source: 
Rob Kim/Getty Images

The show's first star, Clarkson, ended her 13-year-long contract with American Idol in 2015, according to Billboard, and has grown in worth thanks to her tenure with the show, to the point where she might land between $1 million and $3 million per album, according to Billboard's sources. 

Carrie Underwood
Source: 
Eric Jamison/AP

According to Rolling Stone, Underwood's sixth studio album, Storyteller, helped the singer break records. When Storyteller climbed to No. 1 on the charts after its release, Underwood became the first country singer to have all her records climb to the top of the charts within one week of its release. 

Phillip Phillips
Source: 
Paul Archuleta/Getty Images

For his part, despite grappling with some legal drama, Phillips' 2014 album Behind the Light peaked at No. 7 on the Billboard 200, according to All Music, and his 2014 effort, the World From the Side of the Moon, peaked at No. 4 on that same chart. 

How likely are you to make Mic your go-to news source?

Liz Rowley

Liz is a staff writer at Mic, covering breaking news. She is based in New York and can be reached at lrowley@mic.com.

MORE FROM

The 'RuPaul's Drag Race' finale format change just saved the show from predictability

Predictability seized the last few seasons of 'RuPaul's Drag Race,' but season nine's finale flipped the script.

Journalist Kevin Powell sues 'All Eyez on Me' filmmakers, claims they stole from his Tupac articles

More bad news for the embattled Tupac Shakur biopic.

Who won 'RuPaul's Drag Race' season 9?

A lip-sync battle tournament leads to a surprising winner.

Halsey just started a feud with Iggy Azalea

The pop singer thinks Azalea is a "fucking moron."

'Game of Thrones' author George R.R. Martin has a new TV show in the works

An early, gory novella from Martin is heading to Syfy.

The 'Will and Grace' revival will lay out the "rules" in the premiere

Series creators Max Mutchnick and David Kohan are addressing that pesky finale

The 'RuPaul's Drag Race' finale format change just saved the show from predictability

Predictability seized the last few seasons of 'RuPaul's Drag Race,' but season nine's finale flipped the script.

Journalist Kevin Powell sues 'All Eyez on Me' filmmakers, claims they stole from his Tupac articles

More bad news for the embattled Tupac Shakur biopic.

Who won 'RuPaul's Drag Race' season 9?

A lip-sync battle tournament leads to a surprising winner.

Halsey just started a feud with Iggy Azalea

The pop singer thinks Azalea is a "fucking moron."

'Game of Thrones' author George R.R. Martin has a new TV show in the works

An early, gory novella from Martin is heading to Syfy.

The 'Will and Grace' revival will lay out the "rules" in the premiere

Series creators Max Mutchnick and David Kohan are addressing that pesky finale