KEY POINTS

  • Katy Perry is said to be the highest-paid "American Idol" judge, receiving a reported $25 million per year
  • She's also the richest among the judges
  • Fellow judges Lionel Richie and Luke Bryan also have net worths north of $150 million

"American Idol" returned for its 19th season in February to search for the next music superstar. Lionel Richie, Luke Bryan and Katy Perry all reprised their roles as judges for Season 19, but which of them is the highest-paid and has the highest net worth?

Perry receives a $25 million dollar paycheck from ABC each year to serve as a judge on the reality singing competition, Wall Street Journal reported in 2018. However, the singer suggested during an interview on "The Howard Stern Show" last year that this figure was exaggerated, saying, "Let’s just say that those things are to be taken with a grain of Himalayan salt for sure."

Perry started sitting on the "American Idol" judge's chair in Season 16 when the show was revived by ABC. But regardless of how much she is making on the show, the “Teenage Dream” singer has already built an empire. Perry’s net worth is estimated to be around $330 million as of 2021, according to Celebrity Net Worth

Perry makes money not just from song and album sales and concert tours. Her wealth is also bumped up by her investments. The singer’s real estate portfolio includes a $19 million Beverly Hills mansion and a nine-acre, $14.2 million estate in Montecito, California, that she co-owns with boyfriend Orlando Bloom. She also has another Beverly Hills home that she listed for $8 million in 2020. 

As for the other judges, Richie reportedly takes home a $10 million paycheck, while Bryan receives $12 million per season, per Wall Street Journal. 

But though it has been reported that he is making less than his co-stars, Richie already has a massive fortune of his own. The 71-year-old singer is reportedly worth $200 million as of 2021, according to Celebrity Net Worth.

Richie’s revenue machine is his huge discography which spans several decades. The “Hello” singer has been singing and putting out records since the ‘60s when he was still part of the Commodores.

Meanwhile, country superstar Bryan’s net worth is not far behind Perry’s and Richie’s. He is estimated to be worth $160 million, as per Celebrity Net Worth. His wealth comes from earnings from his songs and albums, the tracks he co-wrote for other artists, performances and tours. 

Aside from music, Bryan is also co-owner of deer hunting equipment brand Buck Commander. He also stars in another television show produced by the Outdoor Channel that targets hunting enthusiasts. 

No matter how much they are earning as judges for "American Idol," Perry, Richie and Bryan are raking in millions of dollars even after standing up from the judges’ chairs.

American Idol Ryan Seacrest with judges Lionel Richie, Katy Perry and Luke Bryan, and in-house mentor Bobby Bones on “American Idol.” Photo: Gavin Bond/ABC