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‘American Idol’ Judges Luke Bryan and Lionel Richie Have a Mutual Appreciation Society

Rick Diamond, Getty Images

Luke Bryan‘s latest gig has him teaming up with Katy Perry and Lionel Richie on the judging panel of the rebooted American Idol. And while the three judges were in Nashville holding auditions this week, it became apparent that Bryan and Richie were going to get along just fine.

It’s more than just the two of them being fellow Southern boys (Richie is from Alabama, Bryan from Georgia). As Richie explains, there’s just something about Bryan’s vibe that’s got him feeling easy like a Sunday morning.

“When I first met him, I must admit – you know [he’s] one of those guys you meet and you swear he’s been a part of your life forever,” Richie says. “I’m going back to check my yearbook. I’m going back to check the Commodores; I know he was in the band somewhere…he’s got that personality.”

Well…given that Bryan is 27 years younger than Richie, it’s probably not a good bet that the country star is going to be showing up in any of Richie’s yearbooks. It’s also pretty certain Bryan wouldn’t have been hanging out with the Commodores during the Richie years (he left in 1982, when Bryan was kicking around in elementary school). However, they both love country music, and they both have a mutual appreciation going.

Bryan solidified this with his own comments about both Richie and Perry. “To be on this ride with them and to see how serious they take it and how important it is — it’s an undertaking and a challenge that, when I started saying my opinion on the first day and they started agreeing with it, I was like, ‘Hell yes, I’m gonna be okay. We’re on the same page,'” he notes. “I was very flattered that I could come in and be the ole country boy voice. But back to them, [I’m] obviously huge fans of everything that they’ve done from the word go.”

American Idol is moving to ABC after airing on Fox for 15 seasons and is set to begin in early 2018.

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