Blake Shelton, last of original ‘The Voice’ judges, to leave

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Blake Shelton, the last of the original panel of judges on “The Voice,” will leave the megahit US version of the singing competition show after next season. “This show has changed my life in every way for the better and it will always feel like home to me,” the country music star said in a statement Tuesday night. He said he had been “wrestling with this for a while.”

The next season will be the NBC show’s 23rd and Shelton’s last. When it premiered in 2011, Shelton was joined in the big red chairs by Adam Levine, Christina Aguilera and CeeLo Green. Celebrity judges like Pharrell, Shakira and Miley Cyrus rotated in and out for subsequent seasons, but Shelton had been the constant (Levine had the second-longest tenure, with 16 seasons ).

“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,” Shelton said, adding “a special thanks to those who chose me to be their coach.” The show is also where Shelton met his wife, Gwen Stefani. The pop star and “No Doubt” frontwoman joined the show in 2014 for its seventh season and the pair began dating the next year, after Shelton divorced Miranda Lambert and Stefani divorced Gavin Rossdale. Shelton and Stefani wed in July 2021. “i am so proud of you and so blessed to have found u. your talent brings joy to the hearts of so many people and i am so lucky to be part of ur life’s journey,” Stefani commented on Shelton’s Instagram post announcing his departure.

“The Voice,” hosted by Carson Daly, is in the midst of airing its 22nd season. Both Stefani and Shelton are serving as judges, alongside John Legend — in his seventh season on the show — and Camila Cabello. The Emmy-winning show also announced Tuesday night that Stefani, Legend and Cabello will vacate their seats next season, replaced by Kelly Clarkson — another frequent judge — and first-timers Niall Horan and Chance the Rapper.

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