NEW YORK (AP) — Steven Tyler says he's exiting "American Idol" to put rock 'n' roll first.
Tyler said he's leaving the hit show after two seasons to rededicate himself to Aerosmith, the band he fronts. The rock star said he loved every minute on the hit Fox singing contest but added, "it's time to bring rock back."
"After some long … hard … thoughts … I've decided it's time for me to let go of my mistress 'American Idol' before she boils my rabbit," Tyler said in a statement, making a joking reference to the 1987 Michael Douglas-Glenn Close thriller "Fatal Attraction."
"I strayed from my first love, Aerosmith, and I'm back — but instead of begging on my hands and knees, I got two fists in the air and I'm kicking the door open with my band."
The band is currently on a nationwide tour with Tyler and has an album due out in the fall.
Tyler's "Idol" departure leaves original judge Randy Jackson and Jennifer Lopez, but the singer-actress' future with the show is cloudy.
In a phone interview with The Associated Press as the news about Tyler broke, Lopez said she was saddened to hear that he was leaving.
"I can't even imagine anyone else there right now because I've just spent two years sitting next to him," she said. "I love Steven, and we became close during that time. We were a great support for each other, on an adventure that neither one of us knew what it was going to be. So it's hard to hear that he won't be doing it."
Lopez also said Tyler's departure will play a role in her decision to stay or go. She has already expressed that there is a good likelihood that she will not be back.
"All hope is never lost, not all hope, but at the same time, there are too many things that I need to think about," she said. "I know they want me back, I know that I want to go back, but it's not as simple as that. When I started 'Idol' … I signed on for one year. I didn't even think about doing it for two years, let alone three years. To make the decision to go back a second year was a big deal for me."
The change in the judging panel comes as "Idol" comes off a season of ratings erosion. Its finale, which saw Phillip Phillips crowned as the new "American Idol," drew 21.5 million viewers, the lowest in its 11-season history.
The Fox competition, which started off with Jackson, Simon Cowell and Paula Abdul as judges, has made various judging changes over the years. Ellen DeGeneres joined one season, and songwriter Kara DioGuardi was added as a fourth judge while Cowell and Abdul were still a part of the panel.
The addition of Tyler and Lopez two years ago added fresh star power to a show that, while still a powerhouse, was seeing its audience slowly wane, due to its long tenure and the flood of other talent shows on the TV airwaves.
Tyler added a raucous and sometimes flirtatious personality to the mix, while Lopez was much like Abdul's role as the nurturer and supporter. No one has had the acerbic tone that made Cowell the celebrated villain of the show for years; he's now on his own show, "X-Factor," which recently went through its own judging shakeup and added Demi Lovato and Britney Spears.
"Idol" creator Simon Fuller lauded Tyler's contribution.
"Steven Tyler is a real 'Idol,' a rock legend. If you had told me 10 years ago he would be a judge on 'American Idol,' I would have thought it impossible," Fuller said in a statement. "The fact that this became a reality and we had the pleasure of him gracing our stage for two seasons makes me very proud. I completely understand his desire to get back to his life as the singer in America's greatest-ever rock band. 'American Idol' will miss him!"
AP Television Writer Lynn Elber contributed to this report from Los Angeles.
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This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (11/26-12/2)
30 photos Launch gallery
1. Little Legend and Puddy 😍😍😍😍
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2. "You on point Phife?" "all the time,Tip". 💥 #bannedfromnormal
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3. Vegan! The Impossible burger at Crossroads
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4. Lawrence #BeforeandAfterEpisodes 1-4: 184lbs 13% body fatEpisode 8: 196lbs 8% body fat S/O @coachdaveboxing with the works outs and @kildareriordan with the nutrition
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5. Jus haaaanngin out
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6. Meanwhile back at home in Atlanta GA someone mad they not on the 🛳. 😳
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7. No limits... Photo cred: Chris Bridges @ludacris
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8. new new
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9. Apparently my 260lbs is too much for the actual vines in the Hawaiian jungles to hold me without breaking and me falling hundreds of feet. So for safety purposes, I'm forced to swing thru #Jumanjj on wires strong enough to hold 12 adult buffaloes and 1 adult Rock. #OnSet #Jumanji #IronicallyIEatBuffaloDailyForLunch #MoreManThanNatureKnowsWhatToDoWith
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10. hey ma! 🎎#wcw 💙
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11. Surprise visit to our factories!!! #GoodAmerican #USA
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13. Peachy Keen 🔥✨⚡️
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14. If this don't look thankful I don't know what does. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. #UltraBlessed #24kMagic #SweetPotatoFly
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15. Late nights @nbcmarlon with the writers... we in here!!!
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16. There goes my baaaaaaaaabbbbyyyyy #QueenKingMagic!!! We're up to something! Ira BIG!!! Stay out our buisness -
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17. You want to win every game you play but when you come home to these faces... who cares. #ILoveYouGirls best part of my day, everyday!
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18. Steady,steady..... full size jenga.. "I got this one "???? Or do I ?
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19. Cornrows kind of day 😉@dontaysavoy2 you convinced me and I love. ❤️️
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20. #BrotherlyLove #tbt
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22. #basel #TeamLOVE @kingcombs
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23. Just introduced a special screening of @directher 's groundbreaking (must see) documentary @13thfilm with my brother @themichaelealy | @unitedblackout #blackoutblackfriday
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24. Me & Vanessa Williams giving #DuckLips #Pose on the set of #DaytimeDivas @vh1 - Coming Soon to a tv near you. Lol. - My make up done by @makeupsurgeon
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25. This picture just makes me wanna praise the Lord, you hear me!!!!!! Yes Lord brotha #TEDDYCAMPBELL What a #man !!! You are everything right on this picture husband ......... #gorgeous #stylish #classy #strong #masculine #king #sexy #debonair #gentlemenstyle And that #bible in your hand just seals the deal for me (probably cause i know that, that is what helped you become just as amazing as you look😘). While my heart and mind experiences the goodness of God at #church on Sundays, my eyes experiences the goodness of Teddy😍. Amen somebody🙌🏽. "Bless the Lord oh my soul and all that is within me bless his holy name" #myman #myhusband #goodman #blackman #dapperman #godlyman #goodfather #mybestfriend
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26. Yesterday was my mama's 53rd birthday!!!!! Got to celebrate with her all day. If this is what I have to look forward to I can't wait. Looking like a soft bucket a cocoa butter. Yaaaaaaaaaas! 😍😍😍 love you mommy!
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27. "Shout out to @PureAtlanta for getting the family right"....I'm loving this jogger. 😍😍
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28. This pic warms my heart ❤️ #myLogiebeans and aunt aunt umba @itowandabraxton 😘
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29. You will always be my baby😜. #HappyBirthdayReginae #mybaby18
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30. GC "Gods Child" Red on Red SweatSuit available now at www.MonicaApparel.com ... Take Your Crown wherever you go!! I'm pictured in a Medium... Go to the site now for other options ... cc: @trukernell
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