Lionel Richie Says He’s the ‘Adult in the Room’ on ‘American Idol’ – Variety: "The execs at ABC didn’t lie awake all night long worrying whether Lionel Richie would be a worthy addition to the “American Idol” judges’ panel.
“Whether you’re eight or 88, you feel as if he has been a part of your life,” says Rob Mills, SVP of alternative series, specials and late night. “He is on the Mount Rushmore of iconic hitmakers. So when you put that on TV, there absolutely is a sense of warmth and recognition that you couldn’t get with anyone else.”
Mills even suggests that Richie’s appearance on the show will make up for the memoir he hasn’t written: “Lionel has so much knowledge that he is imparting. This is his televised version of his autobiography. He wants to make sure the next generation of Idols are the keepers of the flame.”"