Carson Daly announced during Friday’s episode of Today that longtime The Voice coach Adam Levine has decided to leave the singing competition after 16 seasons. The news came as a shock to many fans who have grown to love his presence on the series. Levine’s departure is bittersweet, for sure, but the Maroon 5 frontman revealed in a lengthy Instagram post on Friday afternoon that it is “time to move on.”
Along with a heartfelt essay reflecting on his time at The Voice, Levine shared an old photo of Rolling Stone’s magazine cover featuring the series’ Season 1 judges: himself, Shelton, Cee Lo Green and Christina Aguilera.
“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,” Levine began in the caption, thanking the producer for getting the series started.
He continued, explaining that he and his fellow coaches “had no idea” what they were doing, but they knew it was going somewhere. Levine thanked NBC for signing him on to the project and giving him something he will “always cherish.”
“Thank you to everyone who supported this long, strange and amazing left turn into a place I never thought I’d go,” he added.
The “Girls Like You” singer also thanked Daly for hosting the show, showrunner Audrey Morrissey, house band leader Paul Mirkovich, everyone behind the scenes, and, of course, the vocalists who “blew Levine’s mind” on a daily basis.
Levine later called Shelton his “brother for life,” according to Entertainment Tonight.
“Our friendship is and always will be one for the books,” he said of the country singer. “Whatever this whole surreal experience was, I’m just happy I got to experience it with you.”
Both Shelton and Levine have been with the show for all 16 seasons. The two became known as “frenemies” on the series and their endless banter is what drew many fans to The Voice.
He concluded his message by thanking the series’ fans and explaining that it was time for him to move on. He also thanked his manager, Jordan Feldstein, who passed away in 2017 at age 40 due to a blood clot, for setting up that first meeting eight years ago.
Taking Levine’s place in Season 17 will be Gwen Stefani, who previously served as a coach in Seasons 7, 9 and 12. The “Rich Girl” singer will join Clarkson, Shelton and John Legend, People reported.
There was no official reason cited for Levine’s decision to depart from The Voice. Nonetheless, in his announcement on Friday, Daly assured those watching that the legendary pop singer will be greatly missed.