Steven Tyler Departs 'American Idol' Judges' Table

Rocker says in a statement that he intends to return to his 'first love,' Aerosmith.

After two seasons on Fox's "American Idol," rocker judge Steven Tyler announced Thursday (July 12) that he's leaving the singing competition series to focus on his own music.

"After some long......hard......thoughts...I've decided it's time for me to let go of my mistress 'American Idol' before she boils my rabbit," Tyler said in a statement. "I strayed from my first love, Aerosmith, and I'm back — but instead of begging on my hands and knees, I got two fists in the air and I'm kicking the door open with my band. The next few years are going to be dedicated to kicking some serious ass — the ultimate in auditory takeover ... On Nov 6, we are unleashing our new album, Music from Another Dimension on the Earth, Moon, Mars, and way beyond the stars ... 'Idol' was over the top fun, and I loved every minute of it ... Now it's time to bring Rock Back. ERMAHGERD."

Tyler joined "Idol" in its 10th season, bringing his flamboyant charm and rock-star swagger to the reality show.

"It's been a tremendous honor to have Steven — one of the most prolific artists in the world — on 'American Idol' for the past two seasons," said Mike Darnell, President of Alternative Entertainment, Fox Broadcasting Company. "He's been a terrific judge, a true friend and great mentor to everyone involved with the show, and we know he'll continue to be a huge inspiration to 'Idol' hopefuls for years to come. We are very sad that Steven has chosen to focus more on his music, but we always knew when we hired a rock 'n' roll legend, he would go back to the music. We all wish him all the best and would love to have him back on the show anytime."

The news comes on the heels of fellow judge Jennifer Lopez's appearance on the "Today" show in which she hinted that she, too, may depart the series before its 12th season bows.

"You know, I signed on to 'American Idol' to do one year, and ... I wound up doing the two years. And now it's like, 'OK, do we continue on this journey?' " she said. "I know everybody wants that definite 'yes' or 'no,' and ... all I can let you in on is my own thought process with it, because that's where I truly am."

As to who will fill those vacant judges' seats, a number of names have been churning in the gossip mill, including "Idol" runner-up Adam Lambert, Nicki Minaj, Miley Cyrus, Katy Perry, Fergie and Third judge Randy Jackson's fate on the show also remains uncertain.

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