Jenny From the Block can now add more 'rocks' to her collection.

MailOnline has learned Jennifer Lopez, 44, is being paid an astounding $17.5m to return to her post as judge on American Idol next season.

'There was a lot of back and forth negotiating on her salary, but now it's finally been settled that Jennifer will earn $17.5m to go back to Idol next season,' a source told MailOnline exclusively.

'It's a major coup for her to land a huge payday like that and I believe she is thrilled with that number. It's a lot more than the $15m Britney Spears was paid to do The X Factor.'

The $17.5m woman! Jennifer Lopez, 44, is getting a hefty pay raise to sit on the judges' panel again for Fox's American Idol, seen here on her second season of the show in 2012

In mid-August there were rumours that Jennifer, the mother of five-year-old twins Max and Emme, was getting a $15m salary for her third season of Idol, but the figure is actually higher.

The $17.5m salary is a big leap from the $12m paycheck J-Lo was handed for her first season of Idol in 2011. For her second season she was given a $3m raise to $15m.

It was reported last year that when Jennifer asked for another $2m raise to come back for her third season the Idol producers refused and she walked.

Steven Tyler made his exit too, although it's not clear if that had to do with salary negotiations.

Steven and J-Lo were replaced by Mariah Carey, who was paid a reported $18m, Nicki Minaj and Keith Urban. Keith is returning next season with former judge Randy Jackson serving as a mentor.

A golden opportunity: Big bucks brought the entertainer back to Idol, where Randy Jackson (right) will serve as a mentor next season, but she won't be sitting next to her old pal Steven Tyler (left)

Meanwhile, Harry Connick Jr. has signed on to be the third judge on Season 13 of the reality show, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

The 45-year-old was previously on the show as a guest mentor to contestants.

Music producer Dr. Luke was up for the last seat until a conflict of interest between his music label Sony Music and the Idol winners' label Universal Music Group came up in late August.

Next season there will be only three judges, not four like last season. J-Lo is the only female in the lineup because producers reportedly want to avoid the nasty catfights Mariah and Nicki engaged in last season.

And then there were three: Harry Connick Jr. was announced Friday as the third judge on season 13 of American Idol

Last season's regime: (from left to right) Mariah Carey, Randy Jackson, Nicki Minaj and Keith Urban failed to boost ratings this year but Urban is giving the gig another go next season

Jennifer's return to Idol isn't a stunning surprise as it's been speculated about for several months.

The actress/singer's dancer boyfriend Casper Smart was the one who confirmed his girlfriend's return to Idol while he was discussing his new talk show with E! news on August 16. Casper simply replied 'yes' when asked if she was coming back.

Auditions for next season of Idol begin this fall and the show airs in January 2014.

Having it all: J-Lo balances her high-profile job on Idol with a full family life that includes boyfriend Casper Smart and twins Max and Emme, 5

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