Nicki Minaj Confirms 'American Idol' Departure
The rapper follows Mariah Carey's lead and announces that she, too, will leave the Fox show.
Rapper Nicki Minaj followed Mariah Carey's lead on Thursday afternoon, announcing via Twitter, "Thank you American Idol for a life changing experience! Wouldn't trade it for the world! Time to focus on the Music!!! Mmmuuuaahhh!!!"
Randy Jackson had already announced his exit from the show, leaving Keith Urban as the last remaining judge from this season. Urban has yet to confirm whether he'll be participating in season 13 of the Fox show.
The series just wrapped its 12th year on May 16, but by season's end, there didn't seem to be much left to celebrate. The season closer, during which Candice Glover and Kree Harrison faced off for the crown (Glover won), was down more than 40 percent in viewers from the previous year and was the show's lowest-rated finale ever.
Speaking on the night of the finale, a high-ranking Idol source told The Hollywood Reporter that Minaj was viewed as "bad for the brand," explaining that, while the controversial star was meant to lure in younger viewers, she ended up turning off many of Idol's core fans, who now average 51.2 years of age.
A little over a week later, Fox president of alternative programming Mike Darnell announced that he was leaving the company.
In confirming Minaj's exit, production partners Fox, FremantleMedia and 19 Entertainment stated: "Nicki Minaj is a superstar who brought a level of honesty and passion to American Idol and who had a tremendous positive impact on so many contestants this season. Given her extremely busy career, we understand and respect her decision and wish her the best.”
Minaj recently told New York radio station Hot 97 that she plans on returning to her rap and hip-hop roots for her next album.