Steven Tyler is out as judge of American Idol.
The Aerosmith frontman is leaving the show to concentrate his energy on his first love—his band, the rock star said Thursday.
“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.
“I strayed from my first love, Aerosmith, and I’m back,” he said. “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 its “Global Warming” tour, and will release a new album Nov. 6.
Tyler debuted as an Idol judge in 2011 as the show transitioned from its original team of judges, led by Simon Cowell. The only judge that remains from the show’s first season is Randy Jackson.
The future of another Idol judge, Jennifer Lopez, is also unclear. The popular singer has hinted that she may not return for another season.
In an interview with The Associated Press, Lopez said that her and Tyler became close during their two years of judging contestants.
“We were a great support for each other, on an adventure that neither one of us knew what it was going to be,” she said. “So it’s hard to hear that he won’t be doing it.”
Fox officials praised Tyler for his work on the show.
“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,” Idol creator and executive producer Simon 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!”
“We are very sad that Steven has chosen to focus more on his music, but we always knew when we hired a rock ’n’ roll legend, he would go back to the music, said Mike Darnell, President of Alternative Entertainment, Fox Broadcasting Company. “We all wish him all the best and would love to have him back on the show anytime.”
Idol’s latest judge vacancy comes just months after Idol posted its lowest-rated season finale in its 11-season history.