The Voice: Usher & Shakira To Replace Christina Aguilera & Cee Lo For Season 4

NBC is adding some new star power to “The Voice.”

Music superstars Usher and Shakira will join “The Voice” as coaches for Season 4, replacing Cee Lo Green and Christina Aguilera, the network announced on Monday.

“We are thrilled to welcome Usher and Shakira to ‘The Voice,” said Robert Greenblatt, Chairman, NBC Entertainment, in a press release on Monday afternoon. “The addition of these popular iconic artists continues the tradition established by Christina, Cee Lo, Adam and Blake.”

Fellow coaches Adam Levine and Blake Shelton will stay on for Season 4 (the show launched its current third season earlier this month).

NBC explained that Christina and Cee Lo would be taking time off to pursue “other commitments” – Christina will be focusing on promoting her new “Lotus” album, while Cee Lo is working on new music, as well as a scripted comedy series with NBC.

However, both coaches are expected back for Season 5.

“Being a coach on ‘The Voice’ is a wonderful experience and the relationship amongst us all is like an extended family,” Aguilera said in the release. “I am so proud of being part of the show from the beginning, all the work we’ve done, and proud of what the show stands for as a whole.

“As I have expressed since day one of the show, that I am a singer and performer first and I am so excited to get back to that love,” the songstress continued. “Since this year NBC and ‘The Voice’ have decided to tape back-to-back seasons, requiring a full-year commitment, it is important for me to take season four off, allowing me to support my music that my fans have been waiting for — with the release of my new album ‘Lotus’ on November 13. By pursuing my first passion of music during the break, I am also able to come back and offer even more to my team on ‘The Voice’ in the future.”

Cee Lo also said he was looking forward to diving in to some other professional projects, and was appreciative of the network’s cooperation.

“First …thank you NBC for supporting my decision to take this season four hiatus! It says that I’m seen and respected as a complete artist and not just a cast member. I’m highly enthusiastic about focusing my undivided attention on my additional endeavors and interests like my upcoming solo album, new Goodie Mob album, Las Vegas residency ‘Loberace,’ new memoir, and new NBC comedy,” he noted. “It’s great to also give a host of other talent the chance to experience what a joy it is to be part of what is truly THE BEST SHOW of them all, THE VOICE! I will return for season five and will be watching season four. NBC is home and as far as Usher and Shakira are concerned – ‘mi casa su casa’.”

Earlier this month, coach Blake Shelton admitted to Access Hollywood that he wasn’t sure how long he would be on the show either, due to the hectic schedule — listen to Blake talk about his “Voice” future, HERE!

The announcement of Usher and Shakria comes on the heels of “American Idol” revealing its new panel of judges on Sunday, introducing Nicki Minaj and Keith Urban as newcomers to the judges’ table, joining returning judge Randy Jackson and previously announced judge Mariah Carey for the new season, debuting this winter.

-- Eric Anderson

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