Tyler’s departure comes as his fellow judge, Jennifer Lopez, also weighs whether to return to the program that once reigned supreme atop U.S. TV ratings but has seen its audience shrink in recent years. Third panelist Randy Jackson seems a likely bet to return this fall for the program’s 12th season as either a judge or in a mentoring role.
“I strayed from my first love, Aerosmith, and I’m back,” the band’s lead singer said in a statement.
“I’ve decided it’s time for me to let go of my mistress ‘American Idol’ before she boils my rabbit,” Tyler added, in a reference to the thriller movie, “Fatal Attraction.” “I got two fists in the air, and I’m kicking the door open with my band.”
Tyler, 64, and Aerosmith had amassed numerous hits like “Walk This Way” and “I Don’t Want To Miss a Thing” since gaining fame in the 1970s, but the group had reached a lull a few years back when the singer decided to join “American Idol” as a judge.
Mark Darnell, president of alternative entertainment for Fox, called Tyler “a terrific judge, a true friend, and great mentor” on the show.
“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 music,” Darnell said in a statement.