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19 Dynamite Singers Who’d Make Compelling ‘American Idol’ Judges

You need serious star power to find someone with serious star power.

American Idol has evolved from a competition dedicated to discovering and breaking singing talent to a show that enlists top-notch singers for a ratings boost. It’s ironic because when the show, set to return on ABC, began at the dawn of the millennium, the judges were Simon Cowell and Randy Jackson—two industry types largely unknown to the general public—along with Paula Abdul, an ’80s/‘90s pop phenomenon whose days as an icon were in the rear view mirror. All three became huge stars, led by the brusque Cowell, whose direct (if not downright mean) feedback helped propel American Idol into the stratosphere.

Somewhere along the way, however, some began to criticize the show for focusing too much on the judges (hello, Mariah Carey-Nicki Minaj feud!). And now that Katy Perry, Lionel Richie and Luke Bryan have signed on for the next reiteration of Idol, the trend of enlisting A-list talent is not going anywhere. If ABC’s reboot is looking for star power (and it’s reportedly had trouble securing judges), there are a lot of directions it can go.

Here’s a look at some big names that we think would be intriguing choices to serve as judges.

Next: 'American Idol' Legend William Hung Rocks Arizona Bar

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