Season 16 of American Idol premiered on ABC on Sunday, March 11, 2018. The announcement of the show returning was announced on Good Morning America on May 9, 2017. Ryan Seacrest returned as the host. Singer-songwriter Katy Perry, country music superstar Luke Bryan, and Grammy Award-winning musician Lionel Richie joined the show as judges. iHeartRadio radio personality Bobby Bones will be a mentor to the top 24 this season.
Auditions took place in Los Angeles, Nashville, Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida, New Orleans, and Savannah, Georgia.