Nicki Minaj and Mariah Carey Leaving 'American Idol'

Singers often clashed during their sole season as judges

Mariah Carey, Nicki Minaj.
Michael Becker/FOX; Michael Becker/FOX
May 31, 2013 8:45 AM ET

Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj are leaving American Idol. Both singers announced yesteday on Twitter that they will not be returning as judges to focus on their own music careers, The Associated Press reports.

Minaj's departure from Idol had been expected, and on Thursday she posted that it was "time to focus on the music" shortly after Carey's official announcement that she was preparing for her upcoming tour and wouldn't be returning as a judge on Fox's talent competition. 

Nicki Minaj Blows Up at Mariah Carey During 'American Idol' Auditions

Along with country singer Keith Urban, Minaj and Carey were new to Idol, where their occasional clashes stoked talk of a feud, especially early in their tenure on the judges' panel. Minaj once stormed off the set after blowing up at Carey and the other judges, and Carey told Barbara Walters that she had hired extra security because she felt "unsafe" around Minaj.

Fox and American Idol producers sent the pair off with their best wishes on Thursday in a statement, saying that Carey "will remain an inspiration to Idol hopefuls for many seasons to come" and that Minaj is "a superstar who brought a level of honesty and passion" to the show. 

Earlier this month, Randy Jackson, the sole original remaining judge of the talent competition, announced that he would be leaving the show after 12 seasons. 

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