Blake Shelton Explains His Decision to Leave ‘The Voice’: “This Show Changed My Life”

Blake Shelton revealed his decision to leave The Voice last year. Now, in a new interview, the country icon has gone into more detail about his departure.

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Appearing on the Today Show, the longtime Voice coach explained he decided to stick around the music competition show for a few more seasons to not create “a bind” in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I think I was close to calling it a day right when COVID hit,” he told Carson Daly, who also hosts The Voice. “And then, because of COVID, I didn’t want to walk away from the show and leave everybody in a bind. I mean, this show changed my life. I’ll stay here until the world kind of gets back to normal again.”

The impending 23rd season of the show will be Shelton’s final appearance. He joins returning coach Kelly Clarkson and new additions Chance the Rapper and Niall Horan.

Elsewhere in the chat with Daly, Shelton talked about how the show changed his life.

“I met my wife on this show,” Shelton said, referring to Gwen Stefani. “It changed the path of my career. When I came on as a coach on this show, everything in my life was turned upside down and in a good way, you know? This has been incredible, but it’s time, you know. It’s time for not even what’s next. A little bit of nothing would be nice.”

The “God’s Country” singer couldn’t let the moment pass without a bit of his trademark humor. He joked that he’s heard people say that he was “the only star they ever found” during his tenure on the show. “It is what it is, America!” he said.

Shelton is the only remaining original coach on the show. The show first started in 2011 with Shelton, Adam Levine, Christina Aguilera, and CeeLo Green. Levine also had a fairly lengthy stint having stayed on the show for 16 seasons.

Shelton announced his departure on Instagram last October.

“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,” he wrote at the time. “I’ve made lifelong bonds with [host] Carson [Daly] and every single one of my fellow coaches over the years, including my wife Gwen Stefani! It would not happen without you.”

(Photo by: Tyler Golden/NBC)

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