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Katy Perry Is Leaving ‘American Idol,’ Hints at New Music

Katy Perry is ready to close the door on American Idol, and open another chapter in her music career.

Idol will premiere on ABC this Sunday (Feb. 18), marking the TV talent show’s 22nd overall season. It’ll be Perry’s seventh and final season as a judge.

Perry broke the news when she stopped by Jimmy Kimmel Live on Monday night (Feb. 12). “I love the show so much,” she tells the host, “but I want to go see the world and maybe bring new music.”

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The “Firework” singer has been a judge on alongside Lionel Richie and Luke Bryan since it was revived by ABC in 2018.

“I think this will probably be my last show, my last season for Idol,” she continues. “I love Idol so much. It’s connected me with the heart of America, but I feel like I need to go out and feel that pulse to my own beat.”

Perry is buzzed about visiting Brazil this September to perform at the Rock In Rio festival. “It’s really exciting. It’s a big deal,” she says of her spot on the bill.

By leaving her regular gig on Idol, “let’s just say I’m creating space for my new wingspan.”

Perry can spread those wings far and wide. Last year, Litmus Music, a catalog rights company backed by private-equity giant Carlyle Group LP, said it acquired the rights in five studio albums released for Capitol Records, including her Grammy-nominated Teenage Dream.

Sources told Billboard that Litmus paid $225 million for Perry’s stake in the master recording royalties and music publishing rights to her five albums released between 2008 and 2020 — One of the Boys, Teenage Dream, PRISM, Witness and Smile.

Perry remains the first woman and only second artist ever (after Michael Jackson) to send five songs from the same album to the summit of the Hot 100, which she did with 2010’s Teenage Dream (“California Gurls,” “Firework,” “E.T.,” “Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)” and “Teenage Dream”).

2020’s Smile peaked at No. 5 on the Billboard 200 chart, and is Perry’s last full-length studio album.

During her late-night TV stint, Perry also discusses Usher’s Super Bowl performance (“he was awesome”), singing at King Charles’ Coronation, and lodging at Windsor Castle (her mother tagged along. “That’s like the best gift you could ever give your mom”).

Watch the full interview below.

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