Fox's hit singing competition 'American Idol' has propelled many singers into successful careers, including country music standouts Carrie Underwood, Kelly Clarkson, Scotty McCreery, and Lauren Alaina. With the sad announcement that judge Randy Jackson would be pursuing other endeavors, former contestants spoke up about their respect and admiration for him.

He can leave with a huge smile on his face, knowing that he impacted many young and hopeful contestants in a truly lasting way. Season 10 runner-up Alaina says, "Randy always had my back. He was a wonderful judge. His spunk, encouragement, and smile will be missed on the judging panel," (quote via Hollywood Reporter).

Her fellow contestant and Season 10 winner McCreery, adds, "Randy was there from the beginning and added a huge element to the show with his experience and critique that will be truly missed. I loved having him on my season, but even with him gone, he'll always be 'America's dawg ...'"

'Idol' is an intense competition and not for the faint of heart. It seems that Jackson's teddy bear personality, exuberant support and solid advice were a welcome presence throughout the show. He certainly will be missed on Fox, but his returned active involvement within the music industry will be an exciting new chapter in his life.

'Idol' fans will miss his catch phrases, though! Who's going to say "In it to win it" and "dawg?"