To the consternation of devoted fans of The Voice, coach Blake Shelton has just announced that he will be taking a break from the show following next spring's season 23.
Blake, who fell in love with his now-wife Gwen Stefani while they were both coaches on the singing competition, has been part of the series since it first premiered back in 2011. In fact, he is actually the coach with the most wins under his belt.
Earlier this week, the 46-year-old country superstar went into detail about his decision to depart the NBC show after season 23, when Chance the Rapper and Niall Horan will join him and Kelly Clarkson in the coaching chairs.
"I've been wrestling with this for a while and I've decided that it's time for me to step away from The Voice after season 23,” Blake, who recently brought fans inside his home with Gwen, said in an official statement about the news. "This show has changed my life in every way for the better and it will always feel like home to me."
"It takes a lot of work, passion, and adult beverages (Ha!) to pull off a live show twice a week. I've made lifelong bonds with Carson [Daly, the host] and every single one of my fellow coaches over the years, including my wife, Gwen Stefani!"
As sad as the announcement is, we're not entirely surprised: after eight wins in total and over 20 seasons on the NBC show, it is understandable for Blake to be looking at other projects for some time.
Adam Levine, who was part of the debut cast alongside Blake, CeeLo Green and Christina Aguilera, similarly shocked fans when he announced his departure from the show back in 2019.
Since the first season, a number of different celebrities have sat on the iconic red swivel chairs, earning the title of coach, including Miley Cyrus, Ariana Grande, Jennifer Hudson, Nick Jonas, Alicia Keys, John Legend, Usher, Shakira, Pharrell Williams and, most recently, Camila Cabello.
In his recent statement, Blake also honored the various contestants that have defined his time on the show.
"I have to give a huge shoutout to the singers – the Voices who come on this stage season after season and amaze us with their talent and a special thanks to those who chose me to be their coach," he said. "Lastly, it's about y'all, the fans, who watch and support these artists, us coaches and everyone at The Voice chasing their dreams. It wouldn’t happen without you!"
Given his hilarious brand of humor, his excellent ability to spot future superstars and overall excitement, Blake is irreplaceable. Here is to hoping he'll make surprise appearances on future episodes of The Voice.
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Anna Rahmanan is a New York-based writer and editor who covers culture, entertainment, food, fashion and travel news. Anna’s words have appeared on Time Out New York, the Huffington Post, Fortune, Forbes, Us Weekly, Bon Appetit and Brooklyn Magazine, among other outlets.
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