Blake Shelton Called ‘Heart and Soul’ of ‘The Voice’ by Co-Coach After Departure Announcement

by Samantha Whidden
(Photo by: Trae Patton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)

Following the announcement Blake Shelton was leaving The Voice after 12 years, co-coach John Legend speaks out about the big news. 

While speaking to Entertainment Weekly about Blake Shelton’s decision, Legend stated that the country music hitmaker is the “soul” of The Voice. “He’s been the heart and soul and anchor of the show for a long time,” Legend explained. “And he’s a friend of mine and I really enjoy working with him. We’re all gonna miss him.” 

Along with discussing Blake Shelton’s departure, Legend also said he was stepping back from The Voice’s upcoming season. He is planning to focus on his growing family and upcoming album. “My family’s growing, I have a new album out,” Legend explained. “I’m gonna do a little bit of touring, and so it’s probably better that I take a break. We took a break last season because we had another show in our slot that the network tried – and I thought that was gonna happen this season, but it ended up that they wanted us back…”

However, Legend reassured that he would be returning to The Voice and that it’s a temporary break. “I’ll be back on The Voice, just not this coming season.” 

Blake Shelton officially revealed his plans to depart from The Voice in a statement. “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 of chair turns and I want to thank everyone at The Voice from NBC, every producer, the writers, musicians, crew, and catering people, you are the best.” 

Blake Shelton is Planning to Focus on ‘The Voice’ Through Season 23 & His New Show ‘Barmageddon’ 

Meanwhile, a source close to Blake Shelton revealed the country artist’s near future plans after his time on The Voice ends. 

“Blake will continue to focus on The Voice through the new season,” the insider stated. “And also his new show, Barmageddon, music, his 2023 tour, and – of course- his family and life on his farm. He’s just focusing on other projects both personally and professionally.” 

John Legend previously praised Blake Shelton on his The Voice achievements throughout the years. “You will be missed, brother! What an incredible run!” Shelton replied, “It’s been an absolute blast, my friend.” 

Entertainment Tonight further reported that Blake Shelton will be returning for Season 23 with Kelly Clarkson, Niall Horan, and Chance the Rapper as co-coaches.  Shelton and Legend are currently co-coaches for season 22 with Camila Cabello and Shelton’s wife, Gwen Stefani.