After making the careers of artists like Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood, longtime American Idol judge Randy Jackson announced Thursday (May 9) that he will not be returning as a judge next season.
“Yo! Yo! Yo! To put all of the speculation to rest, after 12 years of judging on ‘American Idol’ I have decided it is time to leave after this season,” Jackson said in a statement. “I am very proud of how we forever changed television and the music industry.”
The veteran judge is the only panelist remaining from the show’s inception in 2002. While his departure marks a milestone in the show’s history, he said he is looking forward to having time to focus on his management company, Dream Merchant 21.
Jackson’s announcement comes after reports that all four judges–Jackson, Carey, Nicki Minaj, and Keith Urban are on the chopping block to make room for some fresh personalities.
Check out more details on the AI judge shakeup at Radio.com.