Steven Tyler Leaves American Idol

Access Hollywood
Steven Tyler speaks during the 'American Idol' panel during the FOX Broadcasting Company portion of the 2012 Winter TCA Tour at The Langham Huntington Hotel and Spa, Pasadena, on January 8, 2012
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Steven Tyler speaks during the 'American Idol' panel during the FOX Broadcasting Company portion of the …

Steven Tyler will not return as a judge on "American Idol."

"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 released to Access Hollywood on Thursday. "I strayed from my first love, Aerosmith, and I'm back - but instead of begging on my hands and knees, I've got two fists in the air and I'm kicking the door open with my band.

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"The next few years are going to be dedicated to kicking some serious ass - the ultimate in auditory takeover," the statement continued. "On Nov. 6, we are unleashing our new album, 'Music from Another Dimension' on the Earth, Moon, Mars, and way beyond the stars...'Idol' was over-the-top fun, and I loved every minute of it...Now it's time to bring Rock Back."

"Idol" creator/executive producer Simon Fuller said he's sad to see Tyler go.

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"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. "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!"

And the rocker may not be the only star vacating their "AI" judges' seat - earlier on Thursday, Jennifer Lopez said she too was having doubts as to whether she'll return for the show's twelfth season.

"I have to say that there are so many other things that I do, and that I put on hold for ['Idol']. At the end of the day, whichever way, it's a heartbreaking decision if I'm going to have to go," the singer told Natalie Morales during an interview on the "Today" show.

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"American Idol" returns to FOX in January 2013.

--Erin O'Sullivan

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Copyright 2012 by NBC Universal, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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