It is the end of an era.
“After 13 seasons, I felt now was the perfect time to leave American Idol,” Jackson says in a statement released to PEOPLE. “I’m proud to have been 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.
Jackson stepped down from the panel after season 12 but returned in season 13 as a mentor. He was still a mainstay at the live show tapings last spring, with Jennifer Lopez, Keith Urban and Harry Connick Jr. sitting at the judges table.
“Randy has been such an integral part of American Idol since day one, both as a judge and as a mentor. He’s provided great advice and support, shaping the success of so many Idols we have discovered over the years,” Fox says in a statement to PEOPLE. “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.”
With Jackson’s departure, host Ryan Seacrest remains the only constant over the reality singing competition’s 14 seasons on the air.
Season 14 of American Idol is scheduled to premiere in January on Fox.
• With reporting by MELODY CHIU