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Jennifer Lopez gives American Idol tips to Mariah Carey

Jennifer Lopez has offered up some advice to Mariah Carey as she gears up to take over her American Idol slot, urging the singer to be "honest" and "speak from the heart".

The singer/actress stepped down from the panel of the hit TV talent show earlier this year (12) after two seasons as a judge, and she has been replaced by Carey, who signed a reported $17 million deal to take over.

Lopez has now spoken out to give Carey some tips as she prepares to hand out her own advice to aspiring singers on the show.

The Latina star tells news show Entertainment Tonight, "So long as she's honest and speaks from the heart and is herself then I think she'll be fine... I think that's what anybody who sits in that chair has to do."

Lopez also offers up some words of wisdom to Britney Spears, who has joined the panel of rival TV talent show The X Factor: "It's just about being relaxed and being honest, and being yourself... If you try and think too much about what people might think or what you're saying too much, I think you get lost.

"I always just spoke right from the heart and how I would want someone to speak to me if I was in that position, which I have been many times. And it worked really well for me."