After 12 years at the judge’s table, celebrating the soaring voices and putting down the pitchy, Randy Jackson is leaving American Idol.
Alerting his fans with statement beginning “Yo! Yo! Yo!,” the exuberant Jackson – the last of the show’s original judges, going back to the original Simon Cowell-Paula Abdul days – says he finally wanted to “put all of the speculation to rest” about his future.
“I am very proud of how we forever changed television and the music industry,” he says in a statement. “It’s been a life changing opportunity but I am looking forward to focusing on my company Dream Merchant 21 and other business ventures.”
His announcement only addressed part of the speculation, with rumors still swirling about whether the show will keep the other three judges: Mariah Carey, Nicki Minaj and Keith Urban, who all signed for the most recent season.
So far, Fox TV has declined to comment.