by Bill Keveney, USA TODAY
The star constellation is shifting at The Voice.
R&B star Usher and Latin pop singer Shakira will join the NBC singing competition as coaches in the spring, taking the place of Christina Aguilera and Cee Lo Green, who will take that cycle off. Aguilera is releasing a new album and going on tour, while Green is developing new music and a scripted series for NBC based on his life.
Current coaches Adam Levine and Blake Shelton will be back for Season 4.
"We are thrilled to welcome Usher and Shakira to The Voice. The addition of these popular iconic artists continues the tradition established by Christina, Cee Lo, Adam and Blake," NBC Entertainment chairman Robert Greenblatt said in a statement. "Doing two back-to-back cycles of this show requires a tremendous amount of time, and we are happy to accommodate the commitments made by Christina and CeeLo. The participants on our show benefit from our coaches' expertise and their continued success in the music business allows for significant new contributions to the contestants when they return."
Both Aguilera and Green offered comments, too.
"Being a coach on The Voice is a wonderful experience and the relationship amongst us all is like an extended family," Aguilera said. "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. 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 4 off, allowing me to support my music that my fans have been waiting for."
Green said, "I'm highly enthusiastic about focusing my undivided attention on my additional endeavors and interests. . . . I will return for Season 5 and will be watching Season 4. NBC is home, and as far as Usher and Shakira are concerned -- 'mi casa su casa.' "
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