Randy Jackson Leaving 'American Idol' After 12 Seasons

'It's been a life-changing opportunity,' sole remaining original judge says in a statement.

Just a day after reports revealed that Mariah Carey is no longer the musician/manager's star client, Randy Jackson announced Thursday (May 9) that he is leaving "American Idol."

A judge on the reality competition for 12 seasons, Jackson is the only "American Idol" panelist to be on the show since its inception. His departure paves the way for at least one new judge — if not more — if Carey, Nicki Minaj or Keith Urban decide not to return as well.

Jackson was mum after news broke that Carey signed with Red Light Management, although reports suggested that they parted ways because of schedules that were "too hectic." But Jackson issued a statement Thursday putting to rest the speculation about whether he would remain on the show for a 13th 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 the statement. "I am very proud of how we forever changed television and the music industry. It's been a life-changing opportunity but I am looking forward to focusing on my company Dream Merchant 21 and other business ventures."

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Prior to his stint on "American Idol," Jackson was a successful musician and producer, having worked with Jon Bon Jovi, Michael Bolton, George Michael, Stevie Nicks, Bruce Springsteen, Roger Waters and more. He produced two tracks from the soundtrack to Carey's big-screen bid "Glitter," and collaborated with her on several of her most successful albums. Currently he is managing the Charlotte-based band Paper Tongues.

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