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Luke Bryan's personal message to American Idol fans amid show's big shake-up news

The star is a judge on the long-running talent show, alongside Lionel Richie and Katy Perry

Lionel Richie with Katy Perry and Luke Bryan
Hanna Fillingham
US Managing Editor
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Luke Bryan is getting ready to return to the TV screens when American Idol kicks off on Sunday February 18, joining his fellow judges Katy Perry and Lionel Richie, as well as host Ryan Seacrest. 

And just ahead of the new season, Luke took to Instagram to share a personal message with fans, expressing his excitement for the upcoming show. 

Alongside a photo of him posing in front of a backdrop of Leesburg, Georgia, where he grew up, Luke wrote: "Excited to bring y’all to Leesburg this season. Get ready to take the journey with us to find the next #AmericanIdol on Feb 18th!" 

It's going to be a bittersweet season, as it was announced on Monday night that Katy would be bowing out of the show.

The award-winning singer broke the news on The Jimmy Kimmel Show, revealing that it would be her last season on American Idol. She told Jimmy: "I love Idol so much. It's connected me with the heart of America. 

View post on Instagram

But I feel like I need to go out and feel that pulse to my own beat." Jimmy then asked Katy what her fellow judges thought of the news. 

She joked: "Well, they'll find out tonight!" before clarifying: "Well, they know that I have some things planned for this year." 

luke bryan american idol© Getty Images
Luke Bryan is returning to American Idol on February 18

Luke has been on American Idol since 2018, joining at the same time as Lionel and Katy. The trio replaced Jennifer Lopez, Keith Urban and Harry Connick Jr. who were on the show until 2016, before it took a break and was revived two years later. 

It's not just American Idol that Luke has on his radar right now either. The star will be kicking off his 2024 Mind of a Country Boy Tour in Canada, starting in Calgary's Saddledome on April 17. 

Luke with his fellow American Idol judges, Lionel Richie and Katy Perry - who is leaving after the latest season© Jon Kopaloff
Luke with his fellow American Idol judges, Lionel Richie and Katy Perry - who is leaving after the latest season

The tour will run through until mid-September. Luke will no doubt have lots of stories about his early years during American Idol, tying in nicely with the theme of his tour. 

On Monday, host Ryan appeared on Good Morning America to talk about the audition process, which were held at each of the judges' hometowns. 

The American Idol judges are great friends© Eric McCandless
The American Idol judges are great friends

He said: "Each of them took it very seriously, with a lot of pride showing off their hometowns, where they came from, and it was nice to see. You know, everybody starts somewhere, it was nice to see where they went to school, their teachers, who they were before all of this," adding: "I think the viewers will get a lot out of that." 

As well as Leesburg, where Luke is from, auditions were in Santa Barbara, California, where Katy was born and raised, and Tuskegee, Alabama, where Lionel is from.

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