John Legend Calls Blake Shelton the 'Soul' of 'The Voice' After Exit Announcement (Exclusive)

Shelton announced Tuesday that he was leaving the singing competition show after 12 years.

John Legend is opening up about Blake Shelton's exit from The Voice. ET's Cassie DiLaura spoke to the "Wonder Woman" singer at Ralph Lauren's 2023 Spring-Summer fashion show at the Huntington Library in San Marino, California where he shared what he thought about the "heart" and "soul" of the show leaving after 23 seasons.

"Well, you know, he's been doing the show for 22 seasons, it'll be 23 when he's done, and you can't do something forever," Legend said. "We're gonna miss him though. He's been the heart and soul and anchor of the show for a long time, and he's a friend of mine, and I really enjoy working with him."

"We're all gonna miss him," he added.

Legend is stepping back from the show's upcoming season, as he takes a break to focus on his growing family and his new album.

"My family's growing, I have a new album out, I'm gonna do a little bit of touring, and so it's probably better that I take a break," Legend explained. "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...but I'll be back on The Voice, just not this coming season."

NBC announced on Tuesday that the upcoming season, set to debut in 2023, will be OG coach Shelton's final go-round in the infamous spinning 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," Shelton said in a statement. "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."

"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 and every single one my fellow coaches over the years, including my wife, Gwen Stefani! 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. 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!"

As for what he'll be working on next, a source tells ET, "Blake will continue to focus on The Voice through the new season 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."

Legend shared his well wishes for Shelton at the time tweeting, "You will be missed, brother! What an incredible run!," to which Shelton replied, "It’s been an absolute blast my friend."

Season 23 will see Shelton with a returning favorite and two fresh faces on the coaches' panel, as Kelly ClarksonNiall Horan and Chance the Rapper will be joining the next season of the singing competition.

The Voice season 22 currently airs Mondays and Tuesdays at 8 p.m. PT/ET on NBC. Find out more about Shelton's decision to leave in the video below!



Latest News