I'm so excited to be joining 'American Idol,' Carey said in a phone call with the Associated Press. This kind of all happened really quickly.
One of pop's biggest superstars, Carey had also been targeted to judge American Idol's rival, Simon Cowell's The X Factor, the AP reported. X Factor just landed Britney Spears and former Disney star Demi Lovato as judges.
Carey's salary is estimated to be in the range of $12 million, the sum paid to Lopez during her first season as a judge, according to Entertainment Weekly. But Carey could make as much as $17 million.
It's gonna be so much fun working on @AmericanIdol. As a singer-songwriter, I'm excited to help find and nurture new talent. LYM! -MC, Carey tweeted Monday afternoon.
Fans of Carey lauded the move by American Idol.
Another Carey fan said she's only going to tune in to Season 12 of American Idol because she admires the singer.
Although Lopez said she was leaving American Idol after two seasons as a judge, the show's executive producer wouldn't rule out the possibility of a J-Lo return.
Since she told 'Idol' host Ryan Seacrest she was 99 percent sure she was leaving, that means there's a 1 percent chance she won't, Nigel Lythgoe told the AP.
Carey will be critiquing Idol contestants along with longtime judge Randy Jackson, who has been a judge on the show since its first season in 2002.
Fox Entertainment President Kevin Reilly said Carey has the best credentials of any judge on a singing competition show. Without naming rival shows, Reilly said Carey will help Idol in ratings wars with the likes of X Factor and The Voice.
It's the biggest recording artist than any of these shows have ever had, Reilly said, according to Entertainment Weekly. It's an artist many of these contestants have tried to emulate. [The deal] only concluded only hours ago. Not being the only game in town, we need to keep things fresh.