Kelly Clarkson Says She Left 'The Voice' Because She Was 'Struggling' and Faking a Smile

The singer and talk show host opened up about her decision to relocate to New York and leave the competition show behind.

Kelly Clarkson doesn't want to fake it. The 41-year-old singer and talk show host has relocated her family and her self-titled show to New York, leaving behind Los Angeles and her stint as a coach on The Voice

"I’ll be real honest: I thought I was making a horrible decision," Clarkson told USA Today of her decision to move. “I knew I needed a fresh start and couldn’t be in L.A. I really wanted to be in Montana, but you can’t really do a show from there quite yet. So I was like, ‘The only other option would probably be New York.'"

Saying that she and her kids "genuinely love" living in the big city, Clarkson opened up about her decision to step away from her coaching role on The Voice

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"Full disclosure, I put on a smile a lot of those times because I was struggling a lot in my personal life," Clarkson said of the past four years. "I've learned a lot about what I'm capable of handling, and also what you should not handle. That was me saying 'bye' to The Voice and having this big move." 

Clarkson served as a coach on The Voice from season 14 through season 21, returning for season 23. She was often seen hamming it up with fellow coaches Blake Shelton, John Legend, Nick Jonas, Gwen Stefani, Ariana Grande, and more. 

"I love that family, but I was like, 'I'm struggling. I can't smile anymore. I don't feel like smiling,'" Clarkson admitted. 

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Clarkson finalized her divorce from Brandon Blackstock in 2022. The exes share kids River Rose, 9, and Remy, 7. She's now focusing on the next season of her talk show, which is being filmed in New York. 

"What's cool for me with season 5 is I am in such a great place, not only with my kids, but with me personally and with the show," Clarkson said of her talk show. "I feel like a weight has lifted. That move was very needed. I think the thing I'm most excited about with season 5, on a selfish level, is just showing up to work smiling and actually meaning it. That's a beautiful gift that you don't realize until you're out of it."