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American Idol is losing one of its last remaining original players.
Randy Jackson, who has been with the Fox series since its start, will exit the singing competition, The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed.
Jackson, who first started as a judge and later became a mentor, will not return for the upcoming 14th season of the series.
“Randy has been such an integral part of American Idol since Day 1, 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,” Fox, Idol producers FremantleMedia North America and 19 Entertainment said in a statement.
Jackson first announced that he planned to exit Idol after season 12, when he left the judges’ panel. Shortly afterward, he was invited back to serve as a mentor, replacing Jimmy Iovine. His departure leaves host Ryan Seacrest as the only returning key player from Idol‘s original team.
Jackson’s connection to the show extended beyond his roles as judge and mentor. The 58-year old Louisiana native also served as a producer and musical soul mate to former judge Paula Abdul, as the two judges collaborated on the single, “Dance Like There’s No Tomorrow.” Jackson’s musical imprint was also stamped on releases by Season Five alum Katharine McPhee and Elliott Yamin (“Real Love”) and Season Two third place alum Kimberley Locke (“Strobe Light”).
As a producer and a musician, Jackson’s musical landscape was wide, having worked with Journey, Aretha Frankllin, Carlos Santana, Whitney Houston, Madonna, Celine Dion, Richard Marx, Tracy Chapman, and Bruce Springsteen.
Meanwhile, all three judges — Jennifer Lopez, Keith Urban and Harry Connick Jr. — will be back for season 14.
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