The announcement comes just one day after Steven Tyler said that he will not return next season. There have been reports that Randy Jackson is stepping down as a judge, too, and that Mariah Carey is in talks to join as a judge.
J. Lo was conflicted about her decision, telling Seacrest (who hosts "Idol"), "It's been a long thought process. I really have been torn... but even last year, it was super tough to decide. Something has to give. That's where I am right now."
She added, "You know, I was really dreading this phone call with you. I honestly feel that the time has come that I have to get back to doing the other things that I do that I've put on hold because I love 'Idol' so much." She said, "I have to come back to, like ... you have a lot of other responsibilities and things that you do. You have to pay attention to do that, too. I just feel like we had an amazing run."
Seacrest responded, "You've made up your mind. If you are leaving the show, I'm sad, but I understand you've got to do what's best for you and your family."
Lopez added, "It's really going to be hard to go. It's one of those special things."
Watch J. Lo hint at her "Idol" exit on NBC's "Today" show: