‘The Voice’: John Legend Says It’s ‘Weird’ Without Adam Levine in a Coach’s Chair

Adam Levine’s absence from The Voice set is still felt two years after his departure. According to coach John Legend, who joined the singing competition in season 16, Levine played a major part in bringing The Voice to life, so he’ll always be missed. However, Levine’s exit made room for a handful of new coaches to bring their own flair to the series. Here’s what Legend said about his longtime pal in an October 2021 interview.

Adam Levine and John Legend on The Voice Season 12
Adam Levine and John Legend on ‘The Voice’ Season 12 | Trae Patton/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images

Adam Levine left ‘The Voice’ after 16 seasons

Levine was the second longest-running coach on The Voice behind Blake Shelton, who has appeared in all 21 seasons so far. He surprised fans in 2019 with the announcement that season 16 would become his last, paving the way for Gwen Stefani to take over. Some fans speculated that Levine’s exit was related to backlash he received in previous seasons, but inside sources claimed he left because of unwanted changes to The Voice.

“Things have been very tense between the judges, and everything regarding upfronts was demonstrative of this. It was his choice to go, but no one was begging him to stay,” a source told Us Weekly.

Legend joined The Voice in Levine’s final season, so they only worked together for a short time. However, Legend said at the time that the coaches were “sad to see [Levine] go.”

“He’s been so important to the show even existing, so we’re all going to miss him,” he told Entertainment Tonight.

John Legend says Adam Levine was a ‘foundational’ part of ‘The Voice’

Five seasons of The Voice later, Legend’s feelings about Levine’s exit haven’t changed. Speaking to Cleveland.com, the “All of Me” singer said the competition has felt “weird” without the Maroon 5 frontman.

“I only had one season with him, so I didn’t have a lot of experience of doing the show with him. Adam and I have been friends for a long time. He was such a foundational part of the show, so it’s weird for him not to be there,” he explained.

On the other hand, Legend added that The Voice’s new coaches have brought new perspectives to the series. Since Levine left, NBC has brought on Stefani, Nick Jonas, and Ariana Grande as coaches.

“Every new coach brings a different energy, different chemistry,” Legend said. “It’s always fun to see how it plays out when a new personality comes on the show.”

It seems unlikely Levine will ever return as a coach, but he has already visited The Voice for special performances. He sang with Maroon 5 during the season 20 finale. Perhaps he’ll come back for more performances or to serve as an adviser.

John Legend coaches alongside Kelly Clarkson, Blake Shelton, and Ariana Grande in season 21

The Voice kicked off season 21 in September 2021, featuring Legend, Shelton, Kelly Clarkson, and newcomer coach Grande. Now halfway through the competition, it seems the coaches have blended well together. Legend told Cleveland.com that it’s “a lot of fun” and called Grande a “great addition.”

When asked about the “sassy” nature of the season, Legend added, “Oh yeah, between (Grande) and Kelly. And Kelly and Blake, they continue to ‘feud,’ as they always have. I’m usually, like, the middle child — the mediator, the peacemaker.”

New episodes of The Voice air on Mondays and Tuesdays at 8 p.m. on NBC.

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