Jennifer Lopez confirmed that she will not be a judge on the next season of American Idol but sources say she didn’t leave by choice, contrary to what she said about the departure.
“It wasn’t ever playing any games or doing anything or wanting more and more money,” she said in an interview with Ryan Seacrest. “It wasn’t any of that. It was just being smart about making a business decision and I had to really be responsible in that moment.”
Although Lopez said it was her choice to leave the show, according to the Daily Mail, Lopez was booted from the show for asking producers for a $2 million raise, which would have put her pay at a staggering $17 million.
Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler has opted out as well to focus on his band. “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,” he said in a statement. “The next few years are going to be dedicated to kicking some serious ass – the ultimate in auditory takeover.”
Idol creator Simon Fuller expressed well wishes for the rocker. “I completely understand his desire to get back to his life as the singer in America’s greatest-ever rock band,” Fuller said in his own statement. “AMERICAN IDOL will miss him!”
There has been no word on whether or not Randy Jackson, the only judge that has done all eleven seasons, will stay or go but there are rumors swirling that he is leaving as well. A Fox spokesperson declined to talk about the departures or any replacement, although a short list is said to include stars like Mariah Carey, Kanye West and Lenny Kravitz.
American Idol ruled the airwaves for years but has recently seen a 23 percent dip in the ratings, something that could be attributed to the recent surge of musical competition shows like The Voice and Duets.