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American Idol

How Much Money Are the American Idol Judges Worth?

a story broke that Simon Cowell — and only Simon Cowell — was making $36 million a year as a judge on American Idol. Translation: He was making $22,000 a minute. We'll let that figure sink in for a second (or $366, to a certain Brit). With Simon gone, it begs an important question: Who's the new Richy Rich on the panel?

Steven Tyler
Between selling 150 million albums with Aerosmith, raking in $1 million for each concert appearance, divesting an interest in the band's catalogue for about $50 million, and inking a $2-million-dollar deal for his autobiography, Steven Tyler is clearly sitting on a nice chunk of change. Add to that the rumored $18 million he's pulling in as an Idol judge, and the rock star could afford to retire anywhere in the world several times over.

Jennifer Lopez
In 2007, Forbes estimated Jennifer Lopez had a net worth of $110 million. In the interim, the singer/actress took a break from working to have a set of twins, but at the height of her Hollywood days, J.Lo was commanding $12 to $15 million per picture. She also gets a cut of the $1 billion (with a b!) sales of her 15-odd perfumes. Don't be concerned that putting her career on pause for some baby-making will put Jenny back to the block: People paid her $6 million for the first pics of her bundles of joy. And now she'll earn $12 million as Judge Jenny, which is certainly enough cash to keep herself iced.

Randy Jackson
As mentioned above, Simon was pulling in double-digit millions as Idol's snarkiest judge. Randy Jackson's and Paula Abdul's salaries were never released, but murmurings put the figures at between $5 and $8 million. Nothing to sneeze at, but based on the numbers Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez are earning, we're guessing Randy negotiated himself into a higher tax bracket for Season 10.

What do you think? Are the new judges worth their price tags? Even combined, they cost less than Cowell." alt="Image1" class="image-fit">
Credit: Kevin Winter/Getty Images    

12.8.2010 / 11:00 PM EDT by Jenny McGrath
Related: American Idol, Gossip

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