The new addition to the show was announced at the Television Critics Association summer tour in Beverly Hills by Fox Entertainment President Kevin Reilly.
“We do, in fact, have one judge whose deal closed very, very recently,” Reilly told reporters, as cited by People.
“It’s an artist that many contestants have tried to emulate, have tried to have sung the songs, have tried to hit the notes and because it really was concluded only hours ago, our judge couldn’t be with us.”
According to a source cited by Us Weekly, Mariah will reportedly earn $18 million annually as a judge on the show, which makes her the highest paid judge on any music competition show.
“I am so excited to be joining Idol,” Carey said. “First of all, I wanted to be there today and I wish I could’ve been there to tell you, but I think you know this all kind of just happened real quickly, so I can’t wait to get started in a couple months.”
Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez announced that they were leaving the show earlier this month, as they plan to refocus on their careers.
Carey has been rumored to be replacing Randy Jackson on the show’s judging panel.