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Jackson plans to exit ‘Idol’


Randy Jackson out.

The original “American Idol” judge says he won’t be returning to the Fox talent competition.

“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,” Jackson said in a statement Thursday. “I am very proud of how we forever changed television and the music industry.”

The 56-year-old record producer and bassist called the experience a “life-changing opportunity.” He said he’s leaving “Idol” to focus on his record label and other business opportunities.

Jackson first appeared on the panel alongside Simon Cowell and Paula Abdul when the competition debuted in 2002.

Happy birthday

Among celebrity birthdays today: Singer Henry Fambrough is 75. Announcer Gary Owens is 74. Singer Donovan is 67. Singer Bono is 53. Model Linda Evangelista is 48. Rapper Young MC is 46. Singer Richard Patrick is 45. Actor Kenan Thompson is 35.