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LOS ANGELES – Paula Abdul, the pop star who revived a lagging singing career with a turn as a warm-hearted judge for eight seasons on “American Idol,” said Tuesday night that she has decided not to return to the show next season, a startling development for the reality series that has been the most-watched program on American television for the last five years.

Ms. Abdul has been lobbying for a substantial raise while trying to negotiate a new contract since the spring, and made the announcement on her Twitter account at about 8:30 p.m. Pacific time. Her previous contract ended following the conclusion of the eighth season of “American Idol” in May.

“With sadness in my heart, I’ve decided not to return to Idol,” Ms. Abdul wrote. “I’ll miss nurturing all the new talent, but most of all being part of a show that I helped from day one become an international phenomenon.”

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