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Jackson leaving Idol after 12 seasons, dawg

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LOS ANGELES -- Randy Jackson out.

The 56-year-old American Idol judge says he won't be returning to the Fox talent competition after serving 12 seasons on the show's judging panel.

The record producer said in a statement Thursday that he's leaving Idol to focus on his record label and other business opportunities.

Jackson became famous for his easygoing "yo, dawg" rapport with contestants. He first appeared on the panel alongside Simon Cowell and Paul Abdul when the competition debuted in 2002, and currently judges the show with Mariah Carey, Nicki Minaj and Keith Urban.

Jackson's exit comes amid reports the entire panel will be replaced next season. A spokeswomen for Fox and spokesman for Idol producer FremantleMedia declined to comment.

The current 12th season concludes next week.

-- The Associated Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition May 11, 2013 G2

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