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Why did Kelly Clarkson leave ‘The Voice’ – and who is her replacement?

Miss Independent has officially walked away.

Kelly Clarkson Getty
Photo by Rodin Eckenroth/Getty Images

It’s another year, and another round of new coaches for NBC’s The Voice

The show’s future had been somewhat in the balance for some time since learning that the twice-a-year format (spring and fall) would be scrapped for just fall. Since then, fans have speculated if over 20 seasons was simply two too many, or if the show had a second wind in it. Well, as it turns out, there’s still more life yet in the popular singing competition, as The Voice is back today, September 25, for season 24, with some alterations to the judges’ selection.

While millions are ecstatic over the show’s return, news of Kelly Clarkson’s departure, which came out back in May, had many fans both up in arms and downright downhearted. The former American Idol had been a staple on the show since 2014, taking up the mantle Adam Levine once held and one Blake Shelton removed this year to pass on to Reba McEntire, who admitted to ET that filling the country singer’s chair is not going to be an easy feat. Clarkson also commented on Blake’s absence this season praising what “he’s done for so many Artists,” and how his departure is “a loss for The Voice.”

Very much like Shelton, and although this is not her first absence since she did not take part in season 22, Clarkson’s playful, lighthearted, and humorous presence will be sorely missed this 24th season. She was always the first to bicker with Shelton, the first to say what was on her mind, and the first to relieve tense moments that sometimes happen on live TV. And, of course, we have to miss the creative team jackets she used to hand out in the blind auditions. So, why did Clarkson leave the show? Here’s what we know.

Why has Kelly Clarkson left The Voice?

Kelly Clarkson singing
Image via Twitter

No official statement has been given by Clarkson or NBC as to why the four-time winning coach is not returning to the singing competition. This leaves us to speculate based on what we do know.

The news came not long after Variety wrote that The Kelly Clarkson Show was going to move across the country from Los Angeles to New York. Thankfully, the show has no end in sight, with it being renewed through 2025. However, the fact that season 5 of Clarkson’s daytime talk show is going to be hosted on the opposite coast from The Voice, makes it so there’s a schedule clash and likely creates an impediment for the singer to be able to juggle both. In addition, there is a chance that, as reported by Rolling Stone back in May, the revelation that 11 staffers who’ve worked on The Kelly Clarkson Show had serious complaints about the show’s producers – thankfully none against the host – has Clarkson more dedicated than ever to establish a good work environment for all those involved.

Going further back, in January 2022, Clarkson expressed on The Kelly Clarkson Show‘s Instagram Live the desire to spend more time with her children, saying:

“I’ve decided this year there’s just going to be a couple of changes for me that I can’t say here. There’s a couple things happening. I’ve been able to make more time just for me and my kiddos and still be able to work. Just where we can get away on weekends and really do some fun stuff with my kids. Because they only want to hang out with you for so long and that’s now so I got to take advantage of that… I’m excited to have more time with them.”

Several months later, Clarkson said in an interview on the Elvis Duran Show, “I turned 40 and you know what I’m giving myself for 40? I literally said ‘no’ to everything this summer. I will not do anything this summer. Since I was 16 years old, I haven’t had a summer off. This is my first summer off. I am taking time.”

Clarkson’s personal life has been in the headlines for quite some time. In 2020 the singer filed for a divorce from Brandon Blackstock, to whom she’d been married for seven years. The two share two children, River Rose Blackstock, and Remington Alexander Blackstock. As of March 8, 2022, after two long years and many more headlines, the two finalized their divorce. So, it would come as little surprise that she would want to save some time in her busy schedule for her family. Her hiatus from season 22 of The Voice, could also probably be explained by the reasonable presumption that Clarkson had to have been working on her tenth and latest studio album “Chemistry.” A few of the albums’ emotionally charged songs seem to allude to the singer’s split from her ex-spouse.

There’s no doubt that her radiant personality will be sorely missed, but also her noteworthy talent. Clarkson is hailed by many as one of the best live singers in the industry, and she justified those opinions with appearances on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon and When Christmas Comes Around on NBC in which she sang live with former Voice judge, Ariana Grande.

In season 22, Clarkson was replaced by Camilla Cabello, who had served as John Legend’s guest judge the season prior. Legend is in this latest season 24, whereas Cabello is not. Along with Legend, Shelton’s wife and pop icon Gwen Stefani, Niall Horan, and the already mentioned Shelton’s replacement, Reba McEntire, make up the four coaches for this rendition of the beloved singing competition.

Cody Raschella
About the author

Cody Raschella

Cody Raschella is a Staff Writer and occasional Editor who has been with WGTC since 2021. He is a closeted Swiftie (shh), a proud ‘Drag Race’ fan (yas), and a hopeless optimist (he still has faith in the MCU). His passion for writing has carried him across various mediums including journalism, copywriting, and creative writing, the latter of which has been recognized by Writer’s Digest. He received his bachelor's degree from California State University, Northridge.