Randy Jackson leaving 'American Idol' after 12 seasons
Randy Jackson is exiting "American Idol" after 12 seasons, according to a statement Jackson gave to E! News on Thursday, May 9.
"Yo! Yo! Yo! To put all of the speculation to the rest, after 12 years of judging on 'American Idol' I have decided it is time to leave after this season," the 56-year-old told the entertainment news outlet. "I am very proud of how we forever changed television and the music industry. It's been a life changing opportunity but I am looking forward to focusing on my company Dream Merchant 21 and other business ventures."
Fox declined to comment when asked by OTRC.com about Jackson's departure from the show.
While many judges have joined and exited "American Idol" over the years, Jackson has been on the series since its inception in 2002 and was the only original judge to remain on the show.
Jackson's exit from the series comes after it has been rumored that Fox executives are planning to shake up the series and invite all new judges for the next season. However, these reports have not been confirmed. "American Idol," has been struggling in the ratings this season and is down 22 percent in viewers this year, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
It was also reported on May 9 that fellow "American Idol" judge Mariah Carey dropped Jackson as her manager. Jackson and Irving Azoff began representing Carey in November 2011. Carey previously worked with Jackson when she was signed to Columbia Records. He produced and co-wrote several of her songs as well as played bass for the singer during her tours and in the studio.
Outside of his statement, Jackson has kept quiet on social media about his departure from "American Idol."
The finale of "American Idol" airs on Thursday, May 16, at 8 p.m. ET on Fox.