John Legend, Blake Shelton; Photo Courtesy of NBC/The Voice
John Legend, Blake Shelton; Photo Courtesy of NBC/The Voice

John Legend Speaks Out On Blake Shelton’s Exit From ‘The Voice,’ Says He Is “The Heart & Soul & Anchor Of The Show”

Blake Shelton hasn’t left The Voice yet, but some of his co-stars are already sharing their thoughts on him exciting the show ahead of his departure.

Earlier this month, Shelton announced he will finish his role on the popular reality TV competition series in 2023, ending his lengthy run with the 23rd season. The next season will see him competing on a panel alongside Kelly Clarkson, Niall Horan, and Chance the Rapper.

“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 previously 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 of my fellow coaches over the years, including my wife, Gwen Stefani,” he added. “I have to give a huge shout-out 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!”

Shelton – the sole country coach – has been a fixture on The Voice since its inception in the spring of 2011. He’s also the winningest coach with 11 total victories to date. Seeing the “No Body” singer leave the program is bound to have an impact on viewers and fans everywhere, but largely his co-stars who are already feeling the shakeup.

Speaking with Entertainment Tonight‘s Cassie Di Laura, coach John Legend opened up about his thoughts on Shelton’s impending exit from The Voice, calling the country crooner the ‘heart’ and ‘soul’ and ‘anchor’ of the show.

“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 while appearing at Ralph Lauren’s 2023 Spring-Summer fashion show at the Huntington Museum and Gardens on October 13. “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 enjoy working with him. We’re all gonna miss him.”

During his tenure on The Voice, Shelton has appeared alongside coaches like Adam Levine, Christina Aguilera, and Cee Lo Green. Miley Cyrus, Usher, John Legend, and Clarkson are among some of the other faces who have turned around in the famous red chairs. But perhaps more importantly, Shelton found love on the set that has, undoubtedly, become his second home.

Fans will recall Shelton met Stefani in 2015 while working on The Voice. The pair quickly fell for each other in the wake of their respective divorces from Gavin Rossdale and Miranda Lambert. Stepping away from the demanding schedule that comes with being on The Voice will allow Shelton to focus on other priorities, such as releasing new music and being with his family, which includes wife Stefani and her three sons, Kingston, 16, Zuma, 14, and Apollo, 8.

BREAKING: Blake Shelton Will No Longer Be A Coach On ‘The Voice’ After Season 23

Speaking of upcoming projects, 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.”

Season 22 of The Voice, which features a cast of judges including Shelton, Stefani, Legend, and Camila Cabello, is currently in its battle round performance. The Voice airs Mondays and Tuesdays at 7:00 p.m. CT on NBC.

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