Blake Shelton and The Voice went hand-in-hand for 12 years. Despite the many coaching changes, Blake was the only original coach to stay seated in his red chair — until season 23. Ahead of the season’s premiere, Blake announced that he would be exiting The Voice once the season ended.
The Voice season 24 features familiar faces in the red chairs — Niall Horan, Gwen Stefani, Reba McEntire, and John Legend — but Blake’s absence is clearly felt. However, he’s making sure no one on The Voice forgets about him. His voice has already popped up this season. Hollywood Life is answering all your burning questions about why Blake quit The Voice after 23 seasons.
Why Did Blake Shelton Quit ‘The Voice’?
In November 2023, Blake opened up about why he left The Voice when he did and explained why he doesn’t miss the show right now. “To be totally honest about it, I wasn’t even planning on being there that long,” he said on The Jennifer Hudson Show.
He continued, “I was planning on wrapping it up around 20 seasons or 21 seasons and then obviously COVID hit and then I didn’t want to walk out on the show in the middle of COVID and them trying to scramble and figure out what to do, so I stayed. I didn’t have anything else to do anyway, so I stayed a little bit longer. But I stayed too long for me to now miss it, I can promise you that.”
Blake announced in October 2022 that he would be leaving The Voice at the end of season 23. He released a statement to his millions of followers. “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 next season,” his statement began.
He continued, “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.” Blake acknowledged that he made “lifelong bonds” with now-wife Gwen, host Carson Daly, and his fellow coaches.
A few months later, Blake opened up about his decision to leave the show, and it all centered around family. “If I walked away from my career at this time, the only thing that I run the risk of is having regrets that I’m missing out on some more important things in life. For now, that’s our kids. This isn’t about me anymore and never will be again,” Blake told PEOPLE.
The country singer also admitted that he wanted to re-focus on his music career. “I’m enjoying watching what’s happening and putting a song out once in a while,” Blake said. “That’s another reason that I’m excited to get some time back away from The Voice and concentrate more on, ‘What kind of record do I want to make? Is it going to fit in? Do I care? Do I not care?’ I got a lot to figure out.”
Blake revealed in the interview that he had been thinking about quitting his Voice gig for a while. “I think I was close to calling it a day right when COVID hit,” he said on TODAY in February 2023. “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.”
What Is Blake Shelton Doing Now?
If you’re missing Blake on your TV screen, have no fear. Blake will be returning for Barmegeddon season 2, which premiered November 13 on USA Network. Blake stars in the show alongside The Voice host Carson Daly. Nikki Garcia hosts the show.
Barmegeddon is a celebrity game show where Blake, Carson, and Nikki invite their celebrity friends to Blake’s Nashville bar, Ole Red, to compete in bar games. This season will feature celebrity guests like Kelly Clarkson, Jelly Roll, David Arquette, and, of course, Gwen!
Blake has also been working on music. In August 2023, the country singer and Gwen released their cover of “Love Is Alive,” which is part of a tribute album to The Judds. “@thejuddsofficial are one of the greatest country acts of our lifetime and 80’s country music is my favorite decade… I’ve been singing these songs for as long as I can remember,” Blake wrote on Instagram.
Blake hasn’t forgotten about his Voice contestants, though. He performed with The Voice season 22 winner Bryce Leatherwood at his bar in Orlando on September 30. Bryce was Blake’s final singer to win The Voice.
The country singer is also headed back on tour in 2024. He announced his Back to the Honky Tonk Tour in November 2023. Blake will kick off in February 2024 in Hershey, Pennsylvania.
How Long Was Blake Shelton on ‘The Voice’?
Blake was one of the original four coaches of The Voice when it premiered in 2011, alongside Adam Levine, Christina Aguilera, and CeeLo Green. Up until season 24, Blake had been a coach for every single season of The Voice. He won the show a whopping 9 times.
Blake went through many life changes during his tenure on The Voice. When he started coaching, he was married to Miranda Lambert. The country duo announced their divorce in 2015. That same year, he began dating Gwen, whom he met while coaching on The Voice.
Blake and Gwen bonded over their divorces and found love in the midst of heartbreak. “Gwen saved my life. Who else on earth could understand going through a high-profile divorce from another musician? You can’t even imagine the similarities in our divorces,” Blake told Billboard in 2016. Blake and Gwen married in 2021, and he’s a proud stepfather to her three kids from her relationship with Gavin Rossdale.
Will Blake Shelton Ever Return to ‘The Voice’?
It’s unclear if Blake will ever return as a coach on The Voice. Anything can happen, but Blake seems happy at the moment working on other projects and spending time with family.
During his appearance on The Jennifer Hudson Show in November 2023, he was asked if he missed being a coach yet. “Not yet, I mean, I did that show for 23 seasons,” he admitted.
However, he did reveal the one thing that would bring him back to the show. “Oh my god, I’d be honored to be Gwen’s mentor,” Blake told Entertainment Tonight. “Whatever she tells me to do, I’m gonna do.”