The Voice is back for season 24, but there’s one longtime coach missing from the lineup — aside from retired coach Blake Shelton, of course: Kelly Clarkson. The “Since U Been Gone” singer has been a staple on the singing competition since 2018, having taken home four wins in nine seasons. However, many fans were disappointed to see that Kelly is missing in the newest installment. Why did she leave The Voice this season?
Is Kelly Clarkson on ‘The Voice’ Season 24?
After returning from a one-season hiatus to coach on The Voice season 23, Kelly has once again taken a season off. Instead, coaches John Legend, Gwen Stefani and Niall Horan are in the coaches’ chairs, along with newcomer Reba McEntire, who replaced Blake after his big sendoff in season 23. It’s unclear if Kelly will make any surprise appearances in season 24.
Why Did Kelly Clarkson Leave ‘The Voice’?
Fans of The Voice might recall that Kelly stepped away during season 22, and she was open about her reason for the hiatus. She simply needed a break and took the summer off from all work obligations to spend time with her kids, River Rose and Remington Alexander, whom she shares with ex-husband Brandon Blackstock.
This time around, Kelly has not offered an explanation for her break from The Voice. However, many fans have speculated that it has to do with her location. In summer 2023, her talk show, The Kelly Clarkson Show, moved from Los Angeles to NBC’s New York City studio, where it will film from now on. The Voice is filmed in Los Angeles, which could cause conflicts for Kelly.
As for why Kelly opted to move to New York, she explained in May 2023 that it had to do with family.
“I talked to [my staff] because I was like, ‘Guys, I need you to know what’s happening. It’s either I’m not going to be able to continue the show or I gotta go East Coast,’” she told TalkShopLive. Kelly added that she was isolated from her family, who lives in North Carolina, during the coronavirus pandemic, which is “not good for anyone.”
Kelly also said she felt like her family “needed a fresh start” after she had “a lot of personal things going on,” possibly referring to her divorce.
There were also rumors that Kelly’s exit from The Voice in season 24 had to do with Reba, who is Kelly’s ex-stepmother-in-law after the country singer was married to Brandon’s father, Narvel Blackstock, from 1989 to 2015. However, Kelly shot down speculation that she and Reba are on bad terms after her and Brandon’s divorce.
“We were friends before Brandon and I got together,” Kelly said on Watch What Happens Live With Andy Cohen in June 2023. “We text each other all the time. [We’re] both women of sound mind that know that life doesn’t work out sometimes. … So yeah, no hard feelings there. Just feelings!”
Will Kelly Clarkson Return to ‘The Voice’?
It’s already confirmed that Kelly will not be coming back in season 25. NBC announced next season’s coaching lineup in June 2023, and Kelly was noticeably absent from the list. Instead, John Legend, Chance the Rapper and Reba McEntire are returning alongside first-time coaches — and the first-ever coaching duo — Dan + Shay.
Unfortunately, it’s possible that season 23 was Kelly’s final time coaching on The Voice. She seemed to hint that she has no plans to return during an October 2023 interview with USA Today about her move to New York and how it improved her mental health.
“I’ve learned a lot about what I’m capable of handling, and also what you should not handle. That was me saying ‘bye’ to The Voice and having this big move,” Kelly said. “I love that family, but I was like, ‘I’m struggling. I can’t smile anymore. I don’t feel like smiling.’”