Steven Tyler Leaving 'American Idol'

'I strayed from my first love, Aerosmith, and I’m back'

Steven Tyler
Phil McCarten/FOX
Steven Tyler
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Steven Tyler has decided to leave his role as a judge on American Idol after just two years, the Aerosmith frontman said today.

"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 – 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 next few years are going to be dedicated to kicking some serious ass – the ultimate in auditory takeover.

"Idol was over the top fun, and I loved every minute of it," Tyler added. "Now it's time to bring rock back."

Tyler's decision comes in the middle of Aerosmith's current Global Warming Tour with openers Cheap Trick. The North American trek finds them gearing up for the planned November 6th release of Music From Another Dimension, the band's first studio album since 2004. The group debuted the record's first single, "Legendary Child," during Idol's season finale this year.

"He's been a terrific judge, a true friend and great mentor to everyone involved with the show, and we know he'll continue to be a huge inspiration to Idol hopefuls for years to come," said Mike Darnell, President of Alternative Entertainment at Fox. "We are very sad that Steven has chosen to focus more on his music, but we always knew when we hired a rock & roll legend, he would go back to the music." 

Added Simon Fuller, the show's co-creator and executive producer, "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. 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."

Tyler's announcement isn't the only thing to signal a shakeup at the Idol judges' table: Recently Jennifer Lopez told Today, "I am thinking that maybe it's time for me to go and do other things that I really love to do, like films. Right now I'm on tour and performing."