Pop superstar Miley Cyrus, and R&B songstress Alicia Keys will be joining the judges panel for season 11 of The Voice. This comes after current judges Blake Shelton and Adam Levine re-signed new deals to stay on as judges of the hit NBC show.
— The Voice (@NBCTheVoice) March 26, 2016
However, Pharrell Williams and Gwen Stefani will not be returning to The Voice in the fall. Though no explanation was given as to why Williams was leaving, the door was left open for a future return to The Voice. Williams has done four cycles of The Voice since he came on in 2014. He may be back on as a judge for future seasons, depending on if his schedule permits. Stefani will be promoting her newest album This Is What the Truth Feels Like, which dropped on March 18, and recently peaked at number one on the Billboard 200. There is speculation that Stefani could return to The Voice in the spring of 2017. Current judge Christina Aguilera rotates out during different cycles of The Voice, but has been a mainstay on the winter cycle as of recent seasons.
According to Deadline, NBC Entertainment was thrilled to have both singers on as judges for The Voice.
“The musical expertise and energy these two incredibly talented women will bring to the show is remarkable,” said Paul Telegdy, President, Alternative and Late Night Programming, NBC Entertainment. “We’re thrilled that they’ll be joining Adam and Blake in what we know will be a magical 11th season.”
Though The Voice has seen its ratings decline in recent years, the show continues to be a big hit amongst the 18-49-year-old demographic, and remains NBC’s highest-rated, non-football program. NBC has used The Voice as a lead-in for some of its promising shows, such as the James Spader crime drama, The Blacklist.
This will mark the first time in The Voice’s history that the judges panel will have both two male and two female judges. Since the beginning of The Voice, the judges panel was always made up of three males and one female. This included past judges such as Cee Lo Green, Usher, and Shakira, whom is said to be on the back burner if one of the newest judges doesn’t pan out. In the past, The Voice has brought back many of it’s former judges, though Cee Lo has not been asked back.
— Miley Ray Cyrus (@MileyCyrus) March 26, 2016
Miley Cyrus confirmed the news on her official Twitter account. She appeared on The Voice this season as a key advisor, and has been mentoring all four groups of contestants for judges Levine, Williams, Aguilera, and Shelton. Cyrus released the follow up to her hit album Bangerz entitled, Miley Cyrus & Her Dead Petz in August of last year. Cyrus would later go on to win the MTV VMA for Video of the Year for her hit single “Wrecking Ball.”
Pharrell tweeted the following after hearing the news of Cyrus becoming a judge on The Voice.
— Pharrell Williams (@Pharrell) March 26, 2016
Keys served as a mentor on The Voice during season 7 in 2014. The 15-time Grammy winner stormed into the music scene in 2001 hit her smash hit “Fallin’.” The single would go on to win the Grammy for Song of The Year. Before Keys took on The Voice, she had been seen on the current season of the hit Fox drama Empire. Her husband, producer Swizz Beats, confirmed that Keys will release her newest album sometime this year.
[Feature photo by Jemal Countess/Getty Images]