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Earlier this year, fans of The Voice were shocked to hear that Kelly Clarkson was leaving her coaching position ahead of season 22. The American Idol alum had been a mainstay on NBC’s singing competition since season 14, and her bubbly personality kept many viewers coming back for more. However, Clarkson said she needed a break. Now that her summer off has ended, Clarkson finally addressed her “bittersweet” decision to step away from the show.

Kelly Clarkson, who left The Voice ahead of season 22, addressed her departure
‘The Voice’ coach Kelly Clarkson | Helen Healey/NBC

Kelly Clarkson took a break from ‘The Voice’ Season 22

News broke in the spring that Clarkson would not return to her big red chair for The Voice Season 22, which was filmed over the summer for its September premiere. The “Since U Been Gone” hitmaker did not share a direct statement about her departure. However, she did reveal in a handful of interviews that she wanted a summer off from all of her work obligations.

“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,” she said on The Elvis Duran Show.

Instead, Clarkson spent her summer with her kids, Remington Alexander, 6, and River Rose, 8, whom she shares with ex-husband Brandon Blackstock. She told E! News that she wanted to do all the “stuff we love to do that we don’t always have time” for, like picnicking and hiking at her ranch in Montana.

Now that summer is coming to an end, Clarkson is jumping back into her career. She just announced via an interview with Variety that she’ll soon start working on a post-divorce album for release in 2023, along with a tour. Clarkson is also set to return to The Kelly Clarkson Show Season 4, taking over the time slot that Ellen DeGeneres once held.

Kelly Clarkson says it was ‘bittersweet’ to be leaving ‘The Voice’ but ‘necessary’

The Voice Season 22 is just under two weeks away from its premiere. In a recent interview with Entertainment Tonight, Clarkson shared what led to her decision not to participate this season.

“I had this conversation with a friend — I don’t know if balance is the word we should be using. Because it’s never gonna be perfectly balanced, right? ‘Cause everything ebbs and flows,” she said, later adding, “It was really important, I think, to show my kids that, yes, Mommy loves work and I love to do what I do, but family is first.”

Thankfully, everyone at The Voice was supportive of her decision.

“I texted the other coaches and the executive producer and everyone and I was like, ‘I’m really sorry, you know, I gotta take a minute.’ And everybody understood it. They’ve been on this ride with me behind the scenes and they get it. Some have gone through similar situations,” Clarkson added.

Kelly Clarkson also said leaving The Voice was “bittersweet” because she loved it so much. However, it was “necessary” for her to “step back” and “take a moment.”

The veteran coach feels confident in her replacement, Camila Cabello


‘The Voice’ Season 22: Camila Cabello Says Kelly Clarkson Was ‘Really Excited’ for Her to Coach

Former Fifth Harmony member and The X Factor alum Camila Cabello will take Clarkson’s coaching spot this season. Clarkson broke her silence on her replacement, revealing that she had complete faith in Cabello.

“I think she’s gonna just excel in that situation,” Clarkson told ET. “I think she’s very comfortable in her skin and I think that’s what it takes to be a coach and to be able to coach people. You have to be comfortable first and foremost.”

At the end of the day, Clarkson really hopes Cabello will “kick” longtime coach Blake Shelton’s “a**.”

“Good luck with that. Bring a shield,” she joked.

The Voice Season 22 premieres on Monday, Sept. 19, at 8 p.m. ET on NBC.