As late as last night, negotiations were still ongoing for Jennifer Lopez to remain at American Idol, but following judge Steven Tyler's announcement that he was departing the talent show to refocus on Aerosmith, Lopez this morning made her exit plans public.

Speaking with Ryan Seacrest on his radio show, Lopez, who famously signed a $12 million deal to join the ratings leader in 2010, tearfully relented to her co-worker's prodding, finally confirming her departure.

"It's just really going to be hard for me to go," an emotional Lopez said. "It's just one of those special things in your life that, you know, you don't want to walk away from." She said it ultimately came down to making "a business decision."

Several rumored replacements for Tyler — and now Lopez, and maybe even Randy Jackson — have been floated since news came down the wire yesterday afternoon.

Among the names being mentioned are Mariah Carey, who is said to be "in serious talks" for the job, as well as Fergie, Adam Lambert, Charlie Sheen, and Jerry Lewis.

[photo via AP]