"Yo! Yo! Yo! To put all of the speculation to the rest, after 12 years of judging on 'American Idol' I have decided it is time to leave after this season," he said. "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."
Jackson has been a staple of the show since it first launched in 2002, and is the only original judge who is still with the competition.