"With sadness in my heart, I've decided not to return to #IDOL. I'll miss nurturing all the new talent, but most of all being a part of a show that I helped from day1 become an international phenomenon. What I want to say most, is how much I appreciate the undying support and enormous love that you have showered upon me. It truly has been breathtaking, especially over the past month. I do without any doubt have the BEST fans in the entire world and I love you all."
Beyond her departure, fans were also stunned that Abdul could spell "phenomenon." Abdul's career will be laid to rest in an unmarked plot next to that of American Idol Season 1 co-host Brian Dunkleman later this week.
A sampling of Abdul's greatest hits from the aborted Bravo reality show Hey Paula and elsewhere: