Rumors that Britney Spears would be joining the judging panel of the U.S. version of The X Factor began swirling shortly after producer Simon Cowell axed Paula Abdul, Nicole Scherzinger and Steve Jones in January. Today, it's official: Spears, 30, will join the panel along with fellow singer and former Disney Channel star Demi Lovato, 19.

“I couldn’t be more excited to join ‘The X Factor’ judging panel,” Spears said in a statement relased by Fox. “I’m a huge fan of the show and now I get to be a part of the action. Simon and L.A. better watch out!”

Spears and Lovato will join Cowell and music producer L.A. Reid next season. Spears is rumored to have signed a $15 million deal to be on The X Factor, according to MTV News.

“I’m absolutely delighted Britney and Demi are joining us,” Cowell said. “Britney remains one of the biggest stars in the world, she’s talented, fascinating — and I believe she knows exactly how to spot The X Factor. Demi’s had an amazing career in music, TV and film for someone her age. She’s young, confident, and enthusiastic. I think it’s really important that she speaks to our younger audience. The new panel will be dynamic and will work really well with the changes we are making to the show.”

Read more about The X Factor here:

Paula Abdul, Nicole Scherzinger, Steve Jones Not Returning To X-Factor

U Blog: The X-Factor — Simon Cowell Thinks We're All Just Sheep

VIDEO: Contestant Drops Pants At The X Factor Premiere

SPOILERS: 'X-Factor' Judges Talk Finale

Simon Cowell Wants Paula Adbul As 'X-Factor' Judge

Who Is 'X-Factor' Host Steve Jones

Simon Cowell And Paula Abdul Clown Around At 'X-Factor Premiere

Simon Lines Up Paula For 'X-Factor'

VIDEO: 'Glee' Rocks 'X-Factor'

Mariah Carey Gets Gig On Simon Cowell's 'X-Factor'

RECAP: Paula Abdul Says She Sees Ghosts On 'X-Factor'

Read more about: