Mariah Carey Paid $17 Million as New 'American Idol' Judge, Less Than Predecessor JLO?

Mariah Carey officially signed on as a new "American Idol" judge it was announced on Monday, replacing singer Jennifer Lopez.

"I am so excited to be joining 'American Idol,' this kind of all just happened really quickly," Carey said after being placed on speaker phone during a meeting involving the Television Critics Association according to ABC News.

It is unclear how much Carey, 42, will be paid for her new gig but recent reports suggest that the Grammy award winning singer could receive $17 million- slightly less than Lopez was paid, according to

Lopez, 42, reportedly received $20 million for her judging role in season 11, which is $8 million more than she started off with in season 10.

Lopez, who joined the reality TV singing show in season 10, recently announced her desire to leave the show after just two seasons in order to pursue new projects.

"It's a heartbreaking decision if I have to go," Lopez told the "Today" show's Natalie Morales. "I love everybody, I love [Randy Jackson, Steven Tyler and host Ryan Seacrest], but I am thinking it's time for me to go and do other things I love to do like films."

Although Lopez had told Seacrest that she was "99 percent" certain that she would be leaving, Fox programming chief Kevin Reilly confirmed that it is definite.

"I think I can say it's 100 percent Jennifer won't be back to the show," Riley announced at the Summer TV Press Tour 2012 Monday.

The news comes less than two weeks after Steven Tyler announced his departure as an "Idol" judge.

"After some long, hard thoughts, I've decided it's time for me to let go of my mistress American Idol before she boils my rabbit," the Aerosmith front-man said in a statement.

"I strayed from my first love, Aerosmith, and I'm back. Idol was over the top fun, and I loved every minute of it. Now it's time to bring rock back," he added.