Randy Jackson Officially Departing ‘American Idol’
Over the past few weeks, rumors circulated that some, if not all, of the current American Idol judging panel are planning to leave. Out of the four, long-timer Randy Jackson officially revealed his departure on May 9.
Although Ryan Seacrest hinted at Jackson’s plans during that day’s elimination rounds, the judge known for his “yo, dawg” saying put out an official statement. Although with Idol since 2002, when he started with Paula Abdul and Simon Cowell, Jackson now has plans to focus on his record label, Dream Merchant 21, and other business opportunities, which have yet to be revealed.
He stated: "To put all of the speculation to the rest, after 12 years of judging on `American Idol,' I have decided to leave after this season. I am very proud of how we forever changed television and the music industry."
Although, because of high salaries and low ratings, the rest of the judges are rumored to be getting the axe for next season, no other plans have been confirmed.
But how successful does Jackson have potential to be? His easy-going nature might not translate to record sales. As Billboard pointed out, not only does Dream Merchant 21 not have a website, its first artist, former Idol contestant Kimberly Locke, has only sold 6,000 copies of single “Strobelight” over three years. As well, his stint as Mariah Carey’s manager lasted briefly and didn’t result in any album.
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