John Legend Calls Blake Shelton the ‘Heart & Soul’ of ‘The Voice’ After Exit Announcement

Earlier this week, Blake Shelton revealed that after the next season of The Voice, he will be leaving the show. Now, fellow coach John Legend is opening up about the country superstar’s exit and his own future on 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 told ET. “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 really enjoy working with him.”

He added that “we’re all going to miss him.”

Legend is also not returning next season, as he’s set to tour in support of his newest album Legend and will soon be a father of three. “My family’s growing, I have a new album out, I’m gonna do a little bit of touring, and so it’s probably better that I take a break,” he explained. “We took a break last season because we had another show in our slot that the network tried — and I thought that was gonna happen this season, but it ended up that they wanted us back…but I’ll be back on The Voice, just not this coming season.”

Shelton took to Twitter on Tuesday (Oct. 11) to announce his The Voice exit after season 23. “This show has changed my life in every way for the better and it will always feel like home to me,” Shelton wrote in a statement. “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.”

He continued, “I’ve made lifelong bonds with Carson and every single one of my fellow coaches over the years, including my wife Gwen Stefani!”

 NBC revealed its coaches for season 23, which includes Shelton and The Voice veteran Kelly Clarkson. Newcomers Niall Horan and Chance the Rapper will also join the judges panel.

Rania Aniftos