Fans of The Voice may have been shocked by the announcement that Adam Levine was leaving the hit show after 16 seasons, but there was at least one person who knew that the Maroon 5 singer was growing tired of the series as far back as four years ago — One Republic’s Ryan Tedder.
The “Secrets” singer 39, revealed during a Thursday, June 13, appearance on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon that he had been contacted to possibly take over for the Grammy winner should he bow out of the NBC series.
“I initially got pitched on, four years ago, on potentially replacing Adam on The Voice, ‘cause he was just tired, he was like, ‘I think I’m gonna step off for a minute.’”
Tedder, who now stars as a judge on the network’s new reality show, Songland, continued, “They called to see if I would do it, and before I could even decide, they called back and said, ‘False alarm, he’s back on, but we have this other show that you might be better for.’”
Carson Daly let fans in on the news on the Today show on May 24 that Levine, 40, would not be coming back to the show for a 17th season and would be replaced by Blake Shelton’s girlfriend and show veteran Gwen Stefani.
“After 16 seasons, Adam Levine, our beloved coach and friend, has decided to leave The Voice, the former TRL host, 45, said at the time. “Adam was one of the original coaches that launched the show, winning the competition three times and inspiring many of the artists he worked closely with over the years.”
Hours later, the musician made his own statement on his decision on Instagram. “About 8 years ago, Mark Burnett convinced us to sign up for this show where you sit in a big red chair with your back turned away from the singers on the stage,” he began. “We had no idea what we were doing or where it was going. After the first day of shooting, I sat there, stunned. I said to myself, ‘There’s some magic here. Something is definitely happening.’ It went on to be a life shaping [sic] experience that will be close to my heart forever.”
He also gave a special shoutout to his BFF, Shelton, 42. “BLAKE F–KIN’ SHELTON,” he wrote. “I couldn’t hide my love for you if I tried. Seriously. I tried. Can’t do it. Our friendship is and always will be one for the books,” he wrote.
An insider confirmed to Us Weekly that same month that Levine had been unhappy on the show for some time due to its format and heavy reliance on country music. “Things have been very tense between the judges and everything regarding upfronts was demonstrative of this. It was his choice to go, but no one was begging him to stay.”
Levine’s costar John Legend also gave some insight into his castmate’s seemingly abrupt exit: “I think he was ready and thought it was the right time.”
Sign up now for the Us Weekly newsletter to get breaking celebrity news, hot pics and more delivered straight to your inbox!