Blake Shelton Announces His Departure From “The Voice”: “I've Been Wrestling With This”

Getty Images for ACM / Kevin Mazur

It’s the end of an era: Blake Shelton is officially exiting “The Voice.” On Oct. 11, NBC revealed that the show’s next season will be the country star’s last.

In a statement shared by the network, Shelton wrote that it took him a long time to decide to leave. “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. This show has changed my life in every way for the better, and it will always feel like home to me. It’s been a hell of a ride over these 12 years,” he wrote. While his statement didn’t clearly state why he’d decided to leave, it hinted that the amount of work the show entails may have influenced the choice. “It takes a lot of work, passion, and adult beverages (Ha!) to pull off a live show twice a week,” he continued. “I’ve made lifelong bonds with Carson and every single one my fellow Coaches over the years, including my wife Gwen Stefani!” (Shelton met his wife, Stefani, as coaches on “The Voice” in 2014, and the pair officially tied the knot in 2021).

“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,” Shelton continued. “Lastly, it’s about y’all, the fans, who watch and support these Artists, us Coaches, and everyone at ‘The Voice’ who are chasing their dreams. It would not happen without you!”

Shelton will appear on season 23 alongside three new judges – Chance the Rapper, Niall Horan of One Direction fame, and Kelly Clarkson. The new coaches each celebrated their positions with statements, with Clarkson telling NBC, “I am so excited to be back with my ‘Voice’ family! Let’s do this, Team Kelly!”

NBC also shared a statement from Chance the Rapper that read, “I’m thrilled to join The Voice as a Coach for the next season. I’m excited to help other Artists get to the next level and make the most of this life-changing experience. Get ready for #TeamChance.” Meanwhile, Horan told the network, “I’m excited to be joining this season of The Voice as a Coach. I’m looking forward to meeting and mentoring the new crop of talent while we battle it out with the other teams!”

Shelton was one of the show’s four original coaches when it premiered in 2011, alongside Christina Aguilera, CeeLo Green, and Adam Levine. Season 23 will air in spring 2023, though an official release date has not yet been announced.

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