Cheryl Fernandez-Versini is leaving the X Factor to focus on her music career.
The 32-year-old said in a statement: “I have had such an amazing experience being a judge on the X Factor.
“I have learnt so much and enjoyed nurturing talent but I’ve missed making music and am excited to be recording again.
“I want to thank everybody I have worked with along the way, especially Simon, who I love to bits. I hope the show continues to produce stars and I wish them all the best.”
The show’s boss, Simon Cowell, said: “Cheryl and myself spoke about this. I totally understand her commitment to making more records. She has been amazing on the show, and in the near future we will be working on other things together.”
She has started working on a new album which is due for release later this year.
The former Girls Aloud singer joined the talent show in 2008 and two of her acts went on to win the show – Alexandra Burke and Joe McElderry.
She left the judging line-up in 2010 before returning again in 2014.
She mentored last year’s runners-up, Reggie N Bollie, who finished behind 17-year-old Louisa Johnson.
Her exit follows the news that DJ Nick Grimshaw will not be returning as a judge.
The show’s presenters, Caroline Flack and Olly Murs, also confirmed they would not return.
An X Factor spokesman said: “Cheryl has been a great judge and mentor during her time on the X Factor, from her early years of winning with two of her acts – Alexandra Burke and Joe McElderry – through to last year’s series where she took Reggie N Bollie into the final.
“We’d like to thank Cheryl for her contribution to the show and wish her all the best with her return to music.”
Cheryl ‘backed out’ of her Britain’s Got Talent panel role
Cheryl Fernandez-Versini was originally lined up for the Britain’s Got Talent judging panel, but she “backed out” just before the show launched.
Simon Cowell confirmed previous reports that The X Factor’s Fernandez-Versini was due to be part of the hit ITV talent show.
The variety series made its debut in 2007 with Good Morning Britain’s Piers Morgan and Wild At Heart actress Amanda Holden as judges instead.
Holden has sat on the judging panel ever since.
Cowell told the Radio Times: “Cheryl was supposed to be in Amanda’s place, but with days to go she backed out.”
He added: “We called ITV and they suggested two people – one was Amanda and the other was a girl on Corrie. Now I couldn’t imagine doing the show without Amanda.”
Britain’s Got Talent returns this Saturday, with its first episode set to battle it out against the finale of BBC rival The Voice UK.
TV mogul Cowell also revealed he had considered moving the Britain’s Got Talent judges over to X Factor.
“I think the four of us on the panel is about as good as we’re ever going to get,” he explained.
“We actually even considered transferring them all on to X Factor at one point, but their egos, if I ever suggested it, would be unbearable!”
More than 13 million viewers watched the 2015 finale of Britain’s Got Talent, which was won by Jules O’Dwyer and her dog Matisse.
They became the second dog act to win, following Ashleigh Butler and Pudsey in 2012 .
ITV confirmed it would be taking over The Voice from the BBC at the end of last year.
The Voice will air on the commercial channel from 2017.
:: Britain’s Got Talent is broadcast on April 9 at 7pm on ITV.