Mariah Carey officially exits ‘American Idol’

Mariah Carey at the "American Idol" finale at the Nokia Theatre at L.A. Live in Los Angeles.
(Matt Sayles / Invision / Associated Press)
<i>This post has been updated. See the note below for details.</i>

Mariah Carey is officially done with “American Idol.”

While rumors of her expected departure from the singing competition have been widespread, reps for the singer confirmed her exit Thursday afternoon via Twitter.

The glitzy pop icon will shift her focus back to her music career and is prepping a world tour that will launch in Asia sometime in October, representatives for Carey told Pop & Hiss.

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During her brief stint on “Idol,” Carey launched her comeback single, “#Beautiful.” The smoldering, Miguel-assisted single has heated up Billboard’s R&B;/Hip-Hop chart, peaking at No. 4, and is lifted from her upcoming 13th studio album.

Carey was considered a draw for the aging Fox singing competition, with producers playing up the tension between Carey and sharp-tongued rapper Nicki Minaj.

The pop icon was supposed to close a gap that “Idol” had long struggled with — bringing a true vocal talent in to critique the aspiring talent — but most of the focus was placed on when the tension between Minaj and Carey would finally explode on live TV.


Longtime judge Randy Jackson announced his exit earlier this month. The departures come as speculation intensifies that the show, which has seen double-digit declines in ratings, would go through yet another reboot, including an entirely new panel of judges.

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Jackson had been with the series since it debuted in 2002 with Simon Cowell and Paula Abdul rounding out the judges panel, and survived a number of high-profile exits including Cowell, Abdul, Kara DioGuardi, Ellen DeGeneres, Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler.

Though no formal announcement has been made, it’s also been widely reported that Minaj and Keith Urban won’t return to “Idol.”

Carey is slated to headline the annual Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks Spectacular in New York City.

[Updated, 5:00 p.m. May 30: Surprise! Shortly after Carey’s announcement Minaj took to Twitter to kiss “Idol” goodbye.

“Thank you American Idol for a life changing experience! Wouldn’t trade it for the world! Time to focus on the Music!!! Mmmuuuaahhh!!!,” she tweeted.

In an interview with New York radio station Hot 97 earlier this week, Minaj was dismissive about her well-documented feud with Carey.

“I don’t want to talk about her no more. God bless her,” Minaj said. “In terms of ‘Idol,’ now looking back I can say, hmm, they are very calculated. They knew a lot of things that … whatever, they gave me a really great opportunity. I loved them, and I did have a great time.”]


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