Kelly Clarkson Talks New Music and Blake Shelton's Last Season on 'The Voice' (Exclusive)
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Kelly Clarkson is back on The Voice, but she's also gearing up to share her own!
The singer and talk show host announced this week that her new album, Chemistry, is coming out "soon." Apart from Kelly's holiday album, When Christmas Comes Around in 2021 and 2022's Kellyoke EP, she has not put out an album of all-new material since 2017's The Meaning of Life.
So, will Voice fans get to hear some of the new music first?
"My hope is that yes, we are going to be debuting some new stuff on The Voice," she shared backstage at the singing competition this week. "I've been working on the record for a bit, but I'm now ready to release it."
Kelly's album release will also coincide with her upcoming Vegas residency of the same name. On Monday, she announced a limited, 10-show residency at the Bakkt Theater at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino, which opens Friday, July 28.
But for now, she's thrilled to be back and celebrating the final season of her best on-screen frenemy, Blake Shelton. The country star will be departing the singing competition series after 23 seasons this spring, and Kelly admits she has mixed feelings about it.
"I'm so glad I'm here for it," she said of Blake's last go-round. "One, I kind of want to be the one to kick him out the door, but also I want to hug him while he's going. I love him, but I'm like, I get it. He's been doing this so long and there's a time that you want to move on or do something different."
Kelly will always be the first to tease Blake during an episode of The Voice, but even she conceded how vital the "God's Country" singer has been to the show's success.
"He's part of the reason why The Voice is The Voice, you know?" she reflected. "He and Carson [Daly] have been here from the beginning."
For now, Kelly added, she and Blake are enjoying this season with the introduction of two new coaches, Chance the Rapper and Niall Horan.
"They're great... This has been literally one of my favorite [seasons]," she shared. "I love it for Blake, too. I love that for Blake's last season, he's getting to go out in style with Chance and Niall. They're so fun and easy to work with, we just have a good time. That's a cool way to go."
However, Kelly admitted that having Niall on the panel this season did take away one of her key strategies for winning over potential team members.
"Usually my strategy is like, I can relate, I've been through a show too," she shared. "But so has Niall, so that stinks."
ET spoke with the season 23 coaches ahead of the premiere, who all shared how excited they were to be on the show for The Cowboy's last go-round.
"I texted him," Kelly shared. "If he was gonna do a last season, I wanted to make sure I was there."
However, the talk show host insisted that she won't be letting nostalgia affect her competitive nature.
"If [Blake] wins, I am very happy for him, because that is super cool to win on the last season and he's literally the show, from its conception," she conceded. "But, like, I'm not, like, rooting for him to win. I'll be happy for him if he does, but I'm obviously trying to win myself."
As for the show's new coaches, Niall and Chance said they were ready to put in the work against the Team Blake dynasty.
"It's been awesome," Chance said of joining the show. "Kelly's very, very sweet, very nice to me. And Blake is... here."
The Voice airs Mondays at 8 p.m. PT/ET and Tuesdays at 9 p.m. PT/ET on NBC.
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