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In what seems like a sudden and shocking move by NBC Television, Gwen Stefani is returning to “The Voice” after a 4-season absence. She previously served as a judge and coach in Seasons 7 & 9 as well.

Credit: Debby Wong |

“HOLLA! I’m back, girl.”

She will replace Maroon 5 frontman Adam Levine, who apparently was involved in several weeks-long disagreements with NBC executives over the show’s format and rules. Levine had been a staple of the show since it debuted in 2011, and his departure leaves only Stefani’s fiancee Blake Shelton as the only judge of the show to have been featured in every episode.

Levine’s exit (and Gwen’s return) was announced on the show’s Instagram, Facebook and Twitter accounts on Friday afternoon:

Gwen hasn’t publicly responded to the announcement, but Blake wasted no time expressing his shock and appreciation for Adam in his response on Twitter (he was quickly followed by co-coaches John Legend and Kelly Clarkson, as well as host Carson Daly):

The Voice is set to air its 17th season this fall. We’ll miss Adam, but we’re STOKED to see the magic return with Gwen & Blake on set!

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