Randy Jackson is leaving American Idol — this time for good. (Or so it seems.) The famed record producer announced on Tuesday, Nov. 11, that he will not be returning as either a mentor or a judge for the Fox musical competition's upcoming 14th season.
"After 13 seasons, I felt now was the perfect time to leave American Idol," he said in a statement to Deadline. "I'm proud to have been a a part of a series that discovered some incredible artists and will go down in history as one of the most successful television shows ever. A true original, Idol started it all. Onto what's next."
Fox and the producers of Idol also released a statement about Jackson's exit. "Randy has been such an integral part of American Idol since Day 1, both as a judge and as a mentor," the statement from the network, FremantleMedia North America, and 19 Entertainment read to Us Weekly. "He's provided great advice and support, shaping the success of so many Idols we have discovered over the years."
The statement continued: "We wish him all the best in his next chapter. Randy will always be part of our Idol family, and we hope he'll visit from time to time."
Jackson, 58 — the only one on Idol besides host Ryan Seacrest who has been with the show since its very first season in 2002 — first announced he was vacating his seat at the judges' table after season 12 in 2013. He returned this past year in a different capacity, as an in-house mentor.
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