"After 13 seasons, I felt now was the perfect time to leave American Idol. 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."
Randy Jackson was one of the original American Idol judges alongside Simon Cowell and Paula Abdul when the show first debuted in 2002. He stayed on as a judge for the first 12 seasons, before he announced in May 2013 that he would be leaving the show. Just a few months later, he came back in a new role as a mentor for Season 13, working with contestants during Rush Week and the finals, after a tumultuous time when Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj both left the show.
Here's what the producers, Fremantle Media North America and 19 Entertainment, had to say in a statement regarding Randy Jackson's departure, leaving the door open for him to return at some point.
"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. 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."
American Idol's current judges, Jennifer Lopez, Keith Urban and Harry Connick Jr. are all returning for Season 14, along with longtime host Ryan Seacrest. The show is expected to appoint a new mentor for the upcoming season.