Alicia Keys’ sudden exit announcement from The Voice shocked fans, particularly since it occurred even before next season, which is when her pal Miley Cyrus is set to return. During their time together on The Voice, Alicia and Miley enjoyed a love fest that rivaled Blake Shelton’s and Adam Levine’s famous friendship. But several reports are indicating that despite Keys’ bond with Cyrus, one or more current coaches caused issues that may be responsible for that abrupt departure.
For fans disappointed to have Alicia vanish from The Voice, she offered some hope when it comes to opportunities to hear her lush voice. Although Keys has firmly confirmed that she will not return with Miley Cyrus for The Voice next season, she did reveal that she’s planning to release a followup to her 2016 album, reported CBS News.
“I’m about halfway…My next body of work is already in the works,” said Alicia.
Even though Keys isn’t saying that she’ll never ever return to her over-sized red coach chair on The Voice, she made it clear that next season is out. Alicia gave her desire to work on her new music project as one of the reasons.
“I can’t wait for you to hear new music, and so that’s one of the reasons why I won’t be able to come back next season,” she added.
Keys’ fellow coach Blake Shelton mocked her exit announcement, teasing that he felt she wasn’t really leaving The Voice.
“I know she’s not going anywhere,” Shelton joked.
“It’s all just a media thing, a ploy.”
But even though Blake insisted that Alicia will return “next year and the year after that,” his prediction that she would suddenly reverse her exit announcement hasn’t occurred. That didn’t stop Shelton from elaborating on his skepticism that Keys is really leaving, however.
“They are going to wait and do some, you know, Carson [Daly] is going to be in the Orange Room at the Today show and be like, ‘Oh, what? This just in! Wow!'” claimed Blake.
But is it possible that Shelton himself is partly responsible for Alicia’s departure? Keys was candid recently in discussing her belief that Blake has won so many seasons of The Voice by “rigging” the voting system, reported Pop Crush.
“I’m a little p*ssed off at Blake,” admitted Alicia.
“I’m just sick of Blake…Apparently he just thinks he’s like Mister I win-all-of-them and all this. I told him this game must be rigged.”
Keys added that unless Shelton’s winning streak ended, viewers would suspect that Blake was bribing the producers.
“Somebody else needs to start winning this game or people are gonna think Blake is over there paying somebody,” she summed up.
But despite Alicia’s confession about her views on Shelton, rumors have swirled for months that Keys and Blake’s gal pal Gwen Stefani also don’t get along. Earlier this year, Radar Online reported that when Gwen replaced Alicia’s friend Miley Cyrus on The Voice, a “backstage brawl” ensued.
The publication quoted an insider on how The Voice cast and crew reacted to Stefani’s return. The majority of The Voice cast and crew reportedly were “super excited” to have Stefani as a coach on the show again, said the source. But that excitement supposedly did not extend to Keys, who had a “tight friendship with Cyrus,” according to the insider.
Consequently, the source said that Alicia was upset by the musical chairs game of coaches that caused Miley to leave and Gwen to return.
“Alicia and Gwen have never really liked each other, and have been in competition for most of their lives…Alicia and Miley got super close last season.”
At the time, the source said that Keys was “desperately trying to give Gwen a hard time so she does not return next season.” However, now neither Stefani or Keys is scheduled to return.
That leaves the question of how Blake Shelton reportedly feels about the alleged backstage drama between Alicia and Gwen.
“Blake and Alicia have already had words about this,” said the insider.
The source also alleged that Stefani had complained to executives at The Voice about Keys.
“Gwen knows that she has more pull that Alicia does, because she has a super solid relationship with all of the executives on the show,” added the insider.
Amid all the reports of bickering among Stefani, Keys, and Shelton, Adam Levine apparently has stayed out of the drama. Instead, when Alicia announced her exit from The Voice, Adam loudly protested, reported ET. Keys made it clear that she was leaving, and in her initial announcement, even declared it her last season on The Voice.
“Who knows what the future holds, but I know this one is my final season.”
Levine sought to persuade his fellow coach to stay.
“I’ll tell you what the future holds: you being on the f**k[ing] show!” insisted Adam.
[Featured Image by Christopher Polk/Getty Images for NARAS]