Levine has been a coach on the show since its inception in 2011. He will be replaced next season by Gwen Stefani. “Voice” host Carson Daly announced the switch Friday morning on NBC News’ “Today.”
Daly noted that “Voice” fans would probably miss the “frenemy” relationship that Levine has built up over the years with fellow coach Blake Shelton. Contestants coached by Levine have gone all the way on “Voice” three times during his tenure, Daly noted.
Levine addressed his departure in a lengthy Instagram post, writing, “to all of the loyal voice fans, there’s literally no show without you guys. For me, it was time to move on. Your support has meant EVERYTHING.”
Maroon 5 and Levine had a big showcase in February as the musical act in the Super Bowl Halftime Show, although the performance was marred by controversy surrounding the NFL and its stance toward former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick and his decision in 2016 to kneel during the performance of the National Anthem. Maroon 5 came under criticism for what many perceived as an implicit endorsement of the NFL’s treatment of Kaepernick, who has effectively been blackballed from the league over his stance. The performance, which also featured rappers Travis Scott and Big Boi, took place without major incident, albeit to tepid reviews.
Stefani was previously a coach on the show in 2014 and 2015. The No Doubt frontwoman is dating Shelton, who she met through her stints on “Voice.” Shelton has also been with the show since the U.S. edition bowed in April 2011.
NBC’s stalwart unscripted franchise has had numerous changes of coaches around Levine and Shelton over its long run. The most recent edition featured John Legend and Kelly Clarkson joining Levine and Shelton. NBC earlier this month announced that foursome as returning for the fall, which meant Levine’s decision to leave came as a surprise.
“Voice” has seen its viewership ebb some in recent years but it remains in primetime’s top 25 in adults 18-49. Both its Monday and Tuesday editions this past season averaged more than 10 million viewers.