After 15 seasons, American Idol is coming to end. On Monday (May 11), Fox executives held a press conference to formally announce Idol's final season will close in 2016.

Fox chairman and CEOs Gary Newman and Dana Walden said it wasn’t an easy decision but they felt that it was time to end the show’s successful run.

"American Idol has been such a vital part of Fox for its run, and we spent a lot of time talking with producers about the future of American Idol and collectively we arrived at the conclusion that it was time to bring the show to an end,” said Newman. “But we wanted to do it in a way that felt special and celebratory and treated the show the way it deserved to be treated.”

“There’s a lot of enthusiasm around former judges and contestants coming back,” added Walden. “Next year, it’s going to be a true season-long celebration. We’re already talking about surprises we can have for the fans to make it feel special and send it off [in a way] that makes it as significant as the run it’s had on our network.”

Based on Simon Fuller’s hit British series Pop Idol, on which Simon Cowell was a judge, the duo brought Idol to America in 2002, and it became a nationwide TV sensation. The original judges were Cowell, Paula Abdul and Randy Jackson. The current judges are Jennifer Lopez, Harry Connick Jr. and Keith Urban. Host Ryan Seacrest has been with the series since its inception.

Among the winners and famous alumni from the popular singing competition include Jennifer Hudson, Ruben Studdard, Jordin Sparks and Fantasia Barrino.

Although it’s sad to see American Idol end, the show has discovered some talented singers and will leave plenty of fond memories in its final season.

The 15th season begins in January 2016.

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