LOS ANGELES — As Blake Shelton prepares for his final season on "The Voice," the country music star is opening up about why he has decided to leave after being a mainstay on the NBC singing competition for more than a decade.
Shelton first announced back in October that the upcoming 23rd season of the hit reality show would be his last as a coach.
The singer, who met wife and former coach Gwen Stefani on the show, told "The Voice" host Carson Daly he first began thinking about leaving the competition during the COVID-19 pandemic.
"I think I was close to calling it a day right when COVID hit," Shelton explained in an interview with fellow coaches Kelly Clarkson, Niall Horan and Chance the Rapper that aired Monday on TODAY.
“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,” Shelton explained.
Asked what it would take to keep him on the show, Shelton joked he'd like for "Kelly [Clarkson] to not be on the show anymore...I just think there's too much Kelly Clarkson on television in general."
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While Shelton tries to get his tenth win as a coach this season, he is also looking ahead to life after "The Voice."
"This has been incredible, but it’s time, you know. It’s time for not even for what’s next. A little bit of nothing would be nice," he said.
Season 23 of "The Voice" premieres March 6 at 8 p.m. ET on NBC.