Randy Jackson says he will love Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler "for life" following their 'American Idol' exits.
The 56-year-old judge is the last remaining member of the panel after Jennifer and Steven quit the talent show, but he has paid tribute to the pair thanking them for their two seasons on the programme and describing them as two of the most professional people he's ever worked with.
In a statement to E!, Randy – who is the only original panellist on the talent show since it launched in 2002 – said: "Steven and Jennifer are truly two of the most talented and consummate professionals I've worked with.
"I was friends with them before we hopped on this crazy journey together and I have no doubt our friendships will continue long after. I will love them for life."
Randy has not yet confirmed he will definitely return as a judge for the 12th season of the talent show, with Mariah Carey, Miley Cyrus and Adam Lambert all linked to the programme.
Yesterday Jennifer confirmed she is leaving the role to concentrate on other projects.
In an emotional chat with 'American Idol' host Ryan Seacrest on his radio show, she explained: "Something had to give, something has to give. I was really dreading this phone call with you.
"I honestly feel the time has come that I have to get back to doing the other things that you do, and you have to pay attention to that, too. I could keep doing 'Idol' for the rest of my life, but that would be giving up a bunch of other things. I feel like we had an amazing run."
Tyler confirmed he is quitting the show to spend more time with his band Aerosmith, insisting he "strayed too far" from the group during his time on 'American Idol'.