American Idol's executive producer Nigel Lythgoe has confirmed one of the worst kept secrets in Hollywood ... Jennifer Lopez WILL be returning for Season 11 of the hit Fox show. Joining her on the panel will be Steven Tyler and veteran Randy Jackson.

While appearing on KIIS-FM's morning show, Lythgoe made the big announcement. He told AI host Ryan Seacrest:

    "I am delighted to say that all three judges, along with the brilliant host of American Idol [Seacrest] is back for the next season."

The 42-year-old performer, who recently split from husband of seven years Marc Anthony, reportedly signed a $20 million contract. Last year, JLo reportedly pulled in $12 million.