Blake Shelton’s Biggest Reason For Leaving ‘The Voice’ Is His Stepchildren

Blake Shelton will complete his 23rd and final season on The Voice next year, after which he insists he really is stepping away from the hit TV show — where he has been since the beginning — for good. It’s a decision he didn’t make lightly, and might have never made, if not for his three stepsons — 16-year-old Kingston, 14-year-old Zuma, and Apollo, eight — from his wife, Gwen Stefani‘s first marriage to Gavin Rossdale.

“If I walked away from my career at this time, the only thing that I run the risk of is having regrets that I’m missing out on some more important things in life,” Shelton tells People. “For now, that’s our kids. This isn’t about me anymore and never will be again.

“Even though I’m a stepparent, I take that job very seriously,” he continues. “The kids see me as a very important person in their life. [When they ask], ‘Why isn’t Blake here?’ I take that stuff to heart. I’ve made plenty of money, but you can’t buy time back. I don’t want any regrets.”

Shelton and Stefani married in an intimate ceremony in July of 2021, six years after they began dating. While it seemed an unlikely pair — a country singer and a rock star — Shelton says it feels like it was always meant to be.

“The relationship that we have is so natural and so normal. This feels like the easiest thing I’ve ever been a part of,” Shelton explains. “To me, she’s my best friend and everything that I need and lean on.”

While work requires them to be in Los Angeles at times, the Grand Ole Opry member admits their favorite place to be is his Oklahoma ranch.

“We get away from everything [in L.A.], and we’re just us. It truly does feel different,” Shelton shares. “That’s where I feel the most comfortable, happy and safe.”

In addition to their shared love of gardening, which includes spending an “embarrassing” amount on seeds, Shelton’s favorite thing to do with Stefani is … nothing.

“Gwen and I have done so much traveling and touring and work the first half of our lives that now we’re like, ‘Hey, I’m good to put my sweatpants on at 6:00 PM and watch Ozark eight times,'” reveals the singer. “That’s our life now, and we love it.”

Although he understandably has a lot of mixed emotions over ending his tenure on The Voice, the 46-year-old feels mostly gratitude for how much the show changed his life and career, completely.

“The holdup over the years has been that it’s a hard thing for me to let go of. I’ve been here literally since the first minute,” Shelton reflects. “When I started on The Voice, that was ten years into my career as a country artist. I never really made it to the A-level of country artists until I became a coach. The show did a hell of a lot more for me than I brought to the table at the time. I’ve far exceeded anything I thought I could ever accomplish in the entertainment world.”

Shelton has three team members heading into the season finale on The Voice: Bodie, Brayden Lape and Bryce Leatherwood. The two-night finale will air on December 12 and 13 at 8:00 PM ET on NBC.