American Idol is losing one of its last originals.
Longtime judge Randy Jackson, who moved to a mentoring role last season, will not be back for Season 14 in January.
Jackson was one of the show’s three original judges, joining Simon Cowell and Paula Abdul when the Fox reality singing competition premiered in 2002. The longtime musician, whose frequent use of the term “Dawg” became a signature, gained great fame as the show became TV’s top hit and produced recording stars.
With Jackson’s departure, host Ryan Seacrest will be the only on-camera talent remaining from the show’s beginning.
In May 2013, as ratings were declining amid friction between fellow judges Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj , Jackson announced he wouldn’t be returning for Season 13, but he came back in the mentor’s spot.
Jackson on Tuesday issued a statement via his publicist: “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.”
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