Blake Shelton
Blake Shelton will be a judge on “The Voice” Season 20. Trae Patton/NBC


  • Blake Shelton said he wanted to leave "The Voice" in 2020 before COVID-19 hit
  • The singer decided to stay because he didn't want to "leave everybody in a bind" at the time
  • Shelton said "The Voice" changed his life and brought him and his wife Gwen Stefani together

Blake Shelton got candid about his decision to leave "The Voice" after announcing that Season 23 will be his last as a coach.

Shelton had been part of the reality singing competition for 12 years. However, in October last year, he announced that he has decided to exit the show.

During a chat with his "The Voice" co-stars, which aired on Monday's episode of "Today," the country music singer admitted that he had been contemplating leaving the show since 2020.

"I think I was close to calling it a day right when COVID hit," he told his pal, "Voice" host Carson Daly.

However, Shelton decided to put his exit plan on hold because it wasn't the best time to depart. He acknowledged that the show changed his life, and he didn't want to just leave the program at such a difficult time.

"And then, because of COVID, I didn't want to walk away from the show and leave everybody in a bind," he added. "I mean, this show changed my life. I'll stay here until the world kind of gets back to normal again."

Daly asked Shelton what it would take for him to stay on the show. The "God Gave Me You" singer jokingly responded, "I'd like for Kelly to not be on the show anymore. I just think there's too much Kelly Clarkson on television, in general."

When the host asked about the impact of "The Voice" on Shelton, the country star mentioned meeting his now-wife Gwen Stefani on the show in 2014.

"I met my wife on this show. It's changed my life in every way it possibly can, from a personal standpoint," Shelton explained. "From a career standpoint, I actually had people say, you know the only star 'The Voice' ever found was Blake Shelton...I don't know how to take that."

The singer seemingly hinted at his plans after he finishes his last season on "The Voice."

"When I came on as a coach on this show, I mean, everything in my life was turned upside down," Shelton shared. "And in a good way, you know? This has been incredible, but it's time, you know. It's time for not even what's next. A little bit of nothing would be nice."

In a previous interview, Shelton admitted that the clock is ticking on his years in the music industry but that he has no problems with it because his priority now is his family with Stefani.

"What I've been looking forward to doing for the last four or five years ... is eyeing that timeline, that part of my career, where I just need to start stripping some things away," Shelton said in March 2022. "You gotta get some life in there, and marrying Gwen, I've married into a family. She's got three boys ... and all of a sudden you go, there's other stuff."

Shelton and Stefani wed in July 2021 on his ranch in Tishomingo, Oklahoma. Daly officiated the ceremony.

The Voice
Blake Shelton, Nick Jonas, Kelly Clarkson, and John Legend will judge “The Voice” Season 20. Trae Patton/NBC