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Britney Spears Leaving "The X Factor"

Nino Munoz / FOX(LOS ANGELES) -- After weeks of speculation, Britney Spears has made it official: She’s not returning to The X Factor.

“I’ve made the very difficult decision not to return for another season,” Spears said in a statement sent by her publicist to ABC News. The reason: she wants to start making new music.

“I had an incredible time doing the show and I love the other judges and I am so proud of my teens but it’s time for me to get back in the studio,” she said. “Watching them all do their thing up on that stage every week made me miss performing so much!  I can’t wait to get back out there and do what I love most.”

Spears served as a judge on the Fox reality competition for one season and reportedly made $15 million. While some thought the formerly problem-prone pop star would struggle on live TV, she was a surprise hit, and won over critics with her array of facial expressions.

She joins a group of ’90s pop stars who are getting back into the studio. Justin Timberlake and Destiny’s Child announced this week that they’re putting out new music soon.

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