On Sunday night, the top eight singers on “American Idol” will compete for a spot in the top five, but fans will quickly notice some major changes to the show — including the absence of “Idol” judge Lionel Richie.

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Why isn’t Lionel Richie on ‘American Idol’ 2023 Sunday night?

Richie is one of several artists performing at King Charles III’s coronation concert Sunday night, Harper’s Bazaar reported. The singer was the first global ambassador for The Prince’s Trust, a charity organization started by Charles that helps people ages 11 through 30 “to develop essential life skills, get ready for work and access job opportunities,” according to the organization’s website.

“I’ve known His Majesty now for a couple of years. And so, to celebrate this with him and the Queen is just going to be so much fun,” Richie recently told Sky News. “This is a once in a lifetime opportunity, and to be a part of it is everything.”

Richie hasn’t revealed what he will perform at the big concert, but said it would “be fantastic.”

“We can’t give you the secret you see, we are bound by the official royal contractors,” he told “Good Morning America.” “They don’t give it away. But it’s gonna be fantastic.”

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Richie’s fellow “Idol” judge, Katy Perry, will also miss “Idol” Sunday night to perform at the concert. Ed Sheeran — who recently won a copyright infringement trial over his song “Thinking Out Loud” — and Alanis Morissette will step in as guest judges for the evening.

Sheeran will also perform a song from his new album, “Subtract,” during the episode, “Idol” revealed on social media. Additionally, the top eight contestants will pair up to perform four of Sheeran’s songs.

Who are the top 8 singers on ‘American Idol’ 2023?

As the Deseret News reported, the top eight singers on “American Idol” are:

  • Iam Tongi.
  • Megan Danielle.
  • Colin Stough.
  • Haven Madison.
  • Oliver Steele.
  • Warren Peay.
  • We Ani.
  • Zachariah Smith.

“Idol” will reveal the top five singers during the episode, which airs Sunday at 6 p.m. MDT on ABC.

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