Blake Shelton has chosen to step down from his coaching chair on NBC’s The Voice after serving the longest run for 23 seasons. While a replacement has yet to be announced, Shelton has taken things into his own hands and recently turned to social media to suggest a country icon that could be a good fit.
“Y’all know that next spring The Voice season 23 will be my last… So I’d like to throw @NealMcCoy’s hat in the ring as my replacement! Can I get an amen?!!!!” he wrote on Twitter.
The comment section flooded with words of support for this idea. Neal McCoy also responded, “Thanks buddy, could you send that comment to the @NBCTheVoice also?”
While Shelton is throwing McCoy’s name into the pool of possible replacements, McCoy was actually the first to propose himself for the position. He previously took to Facebook to share a rumor he heard in regard to this upcoming shift on The Voice.
“News Alert: Rumor has it that Blake Shelton has reached out to Neal McCoy about filling the empty Judge’s chair on the Voice when he steps down!!!” he wrote in the post.
McCoy then added a disclaimer and joked that “So far it is only a rumor,,,,,,(started by me)”
Although the “Wink” singer appeared to be joking in his post, his successful career proves that he would in fact be a qualified candidate to fill the coaching seat.
Since breaking into the industry in 1993 with his back-to-back number 1 singles “No Doubt About It” and “Wink,” McCoy has compiled a total of fifteen studio albums and 34 singles on country radio. In the late 1990s, he received two more platinum albums and a gold album, as well as six more Top Ten hits.
The news of Shelton stepping down from the show came just hours after it was revealed that he will be joined by Kelly Clarkson, Niall Horan and Chance The Rapper on the 2023 season.
“I’ve been wrestling with this for a while and I’ve decided that it’s time for me to step away from The Voice after next season,” Shelton began in his statement.
“This show has changed my life in every way for the better and it will always feel like home to me,” he continued. “It’s been a hell of a ride over these 12 years of chair turns and I want to thank everyone at The Voice from NBC, every producer, the writers, musicians, crew and catering people, you are the best. It takes a lot of work, passion, and adult beverages (Ha!) to pull off a live show twice a week.”
The “No Body” singer also shared gratitude for “lifelong bonds” he has made since joining the show, including with his wife, Gwen Stefani and each of the coaches that have come and gone during that time. He also gave a shoutout to Carson [Daly] and all the contestants he has gotten to meet in the process.
He concluded his statement by saying, “Lastly, it’s about y’all, the fans, who watch and support these artists, us coaches and everyone at The Voice who are chasing their dreams.”
During a recent interview with Extra, the country singer’s wife and fellow coach on NBC’s The Voice, Gwen Stefani, also had a few thoughts to share on her husband’s upcoming departure.
“I think that Blake–I don’t know, I think he just wants more time, you know what I mean? I don’t know that people realize, if he’s doing two seasons a year, right?” Stefani said. “In between that, he’s touring. So he actually has two teams at the same time at a certain point, so they overlap.”
The couple currently split their time between their Los Angeles home and their Oklahoma ranch with her three sons Kingston, Zuma and Apollo. Stefani went on to explain that since Shelton is constantly moving around with his busy schedule, he doesn’t have much free time left to enjoy the peace of the ranch. In letting go of The Voice, he may get the chance to spend some more time at home.
“So it’s a lot of brain power, it’s a lot of time away from the family, those kinds of things. I think he just got to a point where he just wants time in his ranch, like time to just do the other things that he loves to do.”
Stefani continued, “And I’m totally speaking for you, Blake, sorry! I’m married to you so I can say whatever I want! But it’s just, I’m excited for him because, you know, we have lives outside of work, and it’s a really good life, it’s really fun, and we have so much fun!
The “God’s Country” singer will be around for one more round of the Emmy-winning show before he says goodbye to the chair he has claimed for 23 seasons. Fans can still watch Shelton on the current season of The Voice, which is set to conclude in a two-part finale airing on NBC on December 12 and 13.