Kelly Clarkson Addresses Adam Levine Leaving The Voice: 'It Was a Shocking Thing — But I Get It'
Kelly Clarkson is standing by Adam Levine when it comes to his sudden decision to depart The Voice after 16 seasons.
Clarkson, who just completed her third consecutive season on the NBC series, spoke of her fellow coach’s decision before she performed “The Star-Spangled Banner” at the Indy 500 on Sunday.
“I found out the night before everybody else found out,” she revealed to Extra before her performance. “I was texting him and everybody else.”
Levine, 40, was revealed to be departing the series after being a coach since the inaugural season when host Carson Daly announced the news on Today.
“It was kind of a shocking thing,” Clarkson, 37, said. “But I kind of get it. He’s been doing it for eight years — that’s a long time. He’s got a couple kids. Still has a career. Still touring. It’s a very rigorous schedule fitting everything in.”
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The “Broken and Beautiful” singer, who will return for season 17 to coach alongside Blake Shelton, John Legend, and Levine’s replacement Gwen Stefani, also admitted that life on the show without Levine on the show would be an adjustment.
“It’ll be weird going to work,” she explained. “‘Where’s Adam?’ But I totally get how busy it is trying to fit everything in plus having a family.”
After initially finding out the surprising news of the Maroon 5 singer’s exit, Clarkson sent out a tweet on Friday, as did Shelton, 42.
“Found out last night about Adam leaving The Voice & while I get that he’s been doing the show 4 a while & wants to step away, it will be weird showing up 4 work & he’s not there,” Clarkson wrote.” To start an amazing show from the ground up is a big deal!”
Shelton, who has been close friends with Levine since the beginning of the show, expressed his disappointment at losing his fellow coach and friend.
“Having a hard time wrapping my head around Adam not being at The Voice anymore,” he wrote. “After 16 seasons that changed both of our lives. I only found out about this yesterday and it hasn’t set in on me yet.”
He concluded with a fun-loving jab at Levine: “Gonna miss working with that idiot.”
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Levine himself opened up about his decision to leave The Voice in a lengthy note posted to Instagram on Friday, hours after the news first broke.
The singer posted a 2012 Rolling Stone cover featuring himself with then-coaches Shelton, Christina Aguilera and CeeLo Green. The foursome were the original coach panel for the first three seasons.
In the caption, Levine recalled how he first landed the gig, which lasted over eight years and 16 seasons.
“About 8 years ago, Mark Burnett convinced us to sign up for this show where you sit in a big red chair with your back turned away from the singers on the stage. First thank you must go to Mark. ❤️ We had no idea what we were doing or where it was going,” he began the message. “After the first day of shooting, I sat there, stunned. I said to myself “there’s some magic here. Something is definitely happening.” It went on to be a life shaping experience that will be close to my heart forever.”
While the news came as a shock to most fans, a source revealed to PEOPLE that Levine had been wanting to depart the show for some time now.
“He’s been wanting to move on for a while,” the source told PEOPLE of the Maroon 5 frontman. “They wanted him to stay but he just really wanted to move on. It’s something he’s been talking to Carson and the other coaches about for some time.”
RELATED: Adam Levine ‘Didn’t Like the Changes’ to The Voice Format Last Season — But May Come Back to Visit: Sources
According to the source, Levine was not a fan of some of the updates made to The Voice for season 16, notably the Live Cross Battles, which debuted in April. In this new round, two coaches go head to head in a “live schoolyard pick” by each selecting one artist from their team to go up against another team’s artist. Each artist performs an individual song, and their fate is decided by a viewer vote.
“He really didn’t like some of the changes to the format of the show last season, and it’s just time for him to leave,” the source continued. “It wouldn’t be surprising if he came back to visit the show though. There’s new music coming soon for him, he’ll be touring and he plans to continue acting. He’s staying busy.”
The NBC series also issued a statement after Levine’s departure was announced: “Our friend and coach Adam Levine made the decision not to return next season. We’re going to miss Adam, but The Voice is family and with family it’s ‘see you soon,’ never ‘goodbye,’” The Voice Twitter account posted. “Gwen Stefani returns with Kelly, John, and Blake on The Voice stage this fall. Join us in welcoming back Gwen, and sharing our heartfelt gratitude to Adam!”
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