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Jennifer Lopez says she’s leaving ‘American Idol’

She just couldn’t let Steven Tyler have all the headlines: Jennifer Lopez announced Friday that she, too, won’t be returning to “American Idol.”

 Lopez, appearing on Ryan Seacrest’s syndicated morning radio program, said that after two years on Fox’s veteran singing competition show, “The time has come.”

“I really have been torn,” she said. “When I signed on to ‘Idol,’ I signed on to do one year. I ended up doing two years … It was just such a lovely surprise in my life to do it.”

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She continued, “It gets more complicated as the kids get a little bigger. It started feeling like it was a lot. Something had to give … that’s where I am right now.”

Which prompted good ol’ Seacrest to nudge: “Does that mean we’re co-workers or not?”

Not.

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“I honestly feel like the time has come that I get back to doing the other things that I do,” she said. “We had an amazing run.”

The 42-year-old megastar had been dropping more than a few hints about her desire to part ways. She appeared earlier this week on the “Today” show, suggesting she was ready to move on. But the uncertainty has always been part of the series. Lopez had the same sort of back-and-forth before she confirmed that she would return for a second season.

Lopez denied her late announcement was part of a negotiations ploy.

“It wasn’t any of that. It was being smart about making a business decision. I had to really be responsible in that moment.”

Lopez is prepping her first greatest-hits album and is co-headlining a world tour with Enrique Iglesias. 

Preliminary auditions for Season 12, which rolls out in January, are already underway.

ALSO:

Steven Tyler departs ‘American Idol’

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PHOTOS: ‘American Idol’ judges through the years


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