The real reason Adam Levine is leaving The Voice

Many fans were shocked when Maroon 5 frontman Adam Levine announced his departure from NBC's reality competition series The Voice in May 2019. Levine, who served as one of the show's celebrity coaches for 16 seasons, addressed audiences in a lengthy Instagram post, writing, in part: "I am truly honored to have been a part of something I'll always cherish for the rest of my life. Thank you to every single coach I ever sat in those chairs with." No, we're not crying — you're crying.

Given the show's popularity (It's been going strong since 2011), Levine's exit understandably confused some of its die-hard viewers. Why leave a successful TV series, right? Of course, there were many potential reasons that contributed to the singer's decision, some of which were more dramatic than others. Translation: Things are about to get complicated, folks. Although this wasn't our favorite topic to tackle (We'll miss Levine too!), we've deconstructed this unexpected news to explain why Levine is done spinning around in the show's infamous red chair. Listen up.

His last season was really rough

Adam Levine's last season on The Voice didn't go so smoothly. Case in point: In one of the final elimination rounds for Season 16, the coach's entire team of contestants was voted off. Ouch! Levine didn't take the upset lightly, complaining about the audience's diss in a conversation with one of his booted contestants, Mari Jones. "It's really upsetting that you're even here right now, because if you have eyes and ears," he said ("you" referring to the audience) — "you should never have let this happen," Levine added, "I don't understand, I don't get it. I'm in shock." Tell us how you really feel, Levine.

While we can't say for sure if this difficult episode played a role in Levine's decision, he certainly made it clear that he was not happy about the dynamic. It's reasonable to surmise that the snub could have left a bad taste in his mouth and soured him on the whole show. Sure, most folks like to go out on top, but in Levine's case, this could have been the final push he needed to cut the cord and move on to something else.

Who cares about the haters? He might

When you're the star of a big reality competition series like The Voice, it seems inevitable that you'll face fan backlash from time to time, and Adam Levine's experience has been no exception. Given all of the hate he's received over the years, it's reasonable to wonder if the critics are to blame for his May 2019 exit. After all, you just read how sensitive he was about audiences nixing his contestants in Season 16.

Some sources insist that all that criticism did not influence Levine's choice to beat feet. "Adam's decision was a difficult one for him," a source told Us Weekly. "It had nothing to do with backlash." It's worth noting that Levine has exhibited a thick skin in the past. Following his heavily criticized performance at Super Bowl LIII in February 2019, the singer acknowledged his lovers and haters alike. "We thank our fans for making our dreams possible," he penned on Instagram. "And we thank our critics for always pushing us to do better. One Love." 

Sixteen seasons is...a lot

Adam Levine starred on The Voice since its inception in 2011, coaching numerous talented musicians throughout his lengthy run. While the Grammy-winning singer thoroughly enjoyed his time on the NBC hit series, noting that the show will be "close" to his "heart forever," 16 seasons is arguably a long time to stick around at any job. Levine said as much in his goodbye post on Instagram in May 2019: "For me, it was time to move on." Fair enough.

According to The Wrap, an insider said Levine had been itching to move on "for a while," and all signs suggest NBC understood Levine's position. The network issued a statement that echoed Levin's upbeat and positive exit tone, expressing its "heartfelt gratitude" for the Maroon 5 frontman. We here you: This reason isn't too juicy, but there's no denying that Levine's run on The Voice may have simply run its course. C'est la vie.

He could be making more time for family

Adam Levine and his wife, Victoria's Secret model Behati Prinsloo, are parents two to adorable kiddos: Gio and Dusty Rose. Although Prinsloo hasn't announced another pregnancy at the time of this writing, it's possible that she and Levine want to expand their sweet family sooner than later, which could mean that The Voice isn't a big priority at the moment. Prinsloo hinted at the possibility of having more kids in a March 2019 interview with People: "It's not out of the question," she said. "I grew up an only child, so I always wanted a big family." The timing of this comment is a bit interesting because it occurred just two months before Levine announced his departure from the NBC series. Hmm.

If the duo are planning to add another baby to the brood, there's no question Levine will be a hands-on dad. "Our girls are so lucky to call you dad and I'm so lucky to have you as a husband a lover and a friend," Prinsloo wrote to Levine on Father's Day 2018. "We love you. Life is better with you." Aww.

This doesn't have to be goodbye

Die-hard fans of The Voice may be happy to hear that Adam Levine could return to the reality competition series in the future. Levine's May 2019 goodbye announcement hinted at this possibility, teasing: "…I'm sure I'll be back to say hi very very soon." NBC did the same in its own statement: "We're going to miss Adam, but The Voice is family and with family it's 'see you soon,' never 'goodbye.'"

If it's true that Levine will come back to the show someday, we have a feeling fans will be thrilled to see him. "Adam is everything and more!!" one person tweeted following the news of his departure. "It will not be the same without him." Another fan said: "Gonna miss him and his back and forth jabs with @blakeshelton. It just won't feel the same." Though Levine seems good and ready to move on, it's got to be nice to know that he's still welcome in his old stomping ground.

Dude needs a break

It's no secret Adam Levine is a busy guy, considering his 16 seasons on The Voice and his musical responsibilities with Maroon 5, but is he working too much? It's possible, especially in the context of this quote from his wife, Behati Prinsloo, in March 2019. "I definitely think the older he gets, the more he's been taking care of himself, working out and doing yoga, Prinsloo told People. "He's so aware. He also doesn't drink much and is very much a workaholic."

Of course, there's always the chance that Levine wants to ease up on his workaholic ways now that he's getting a bit long in the tooth. The singer was 40 at the time of his departure from The Voice in May 2019, so we can't blame him this is the case — life is precious and he deserves to enjoy the fruits of his labor. A December 2017 report from Life & Style magazine touched on this sentiment, with a source telling the outlet (via Christian Today): "He wants to be at home and chase after his kids." Enjoy your newfound free time, papa.

His co-stars understand

Leaving a job can be tough, especially if you love your co-workers, but luckily for Adam Levine, his fellow Voice coaches — including Blake Shelton and Kelly Clarkson — are totally cool with his departure, despite their sadness about the situation. Case in point: After Levine announced his exit in May 2019, both Shelton and Clarkson issued sentimental goodbye messages via Twitter. 

"Found out last night about @adamlevine leaving The Voice & while I get that he's been doing the show 4 a while & wants to step away, it will be weird showing up 4 work & he's not there," Clarkson tweeted. "To start an amazing show from the ground up is a big deal!" Shelton penned: "Having a hard time wrapping my head around @adamlevine not being at @NBCTheVoice anymore … Gonna miss working with that idiot."

For Levine, we suspect bidding farewell to his colleagues was bittersweet, but perhaps that decision was made a little easier thanks to the support of his co-stars.

He's already loaded

Adam Levine reportedly enjoyed an annual $26 million a year contract at The Voice – a staggering figure that puts his wealth into perspective. Not only was the singer making bank on the NBC reality competition series, but at the time of this writing, his total net worth comes in at $120 million, according to Celebrity Net Worth. Dang. Oh, and did we mention that Levine sold his massive house days before he announced his departure from the show in May 2019? Yep, he sold the property to Ellen DeGeneres for a cool $45 million, according to TMZ. Talk about a major real estate win.

Levine makes so much dough, in fact, that he has leftover funds for charitable causes. Ahead of its February 2019 gig performing at the Super Bowl Halftime show, Maroon 5 donated $500,000 to Big Brothers Big Sisters. Let's just say there's a good chance Levine doesn't need The Voice to thrive financially.

He left the show in good hands

When Adam Levine left The Voice, he had the perfect replacement waiting in the wings — No Doubt singer (and Blake Shelton's girlfriend) Gwen Stefani. "Gwen Stefani returns with Kelly, John, and Blake on The Voice stage this fall," NBC tweeted in May 2019, after Levine's goodbye announcement. "Join us in welcoming back Gwen, and sharing our heartfelt gratitude to Adam."

Not only is Stefani a bonafide star, but she appeared on the show as a coach for Seasons 7, 9, and 12. Translation: She's got this in the bag. Making matters even better for viewers? Stefani's relationship with Shelton should make for some interesting on-air banter. In fact, Levine has testified about the couple's love in the past. "They're so in love it's disgusting," he joked to Howard Stern in October 2017 (via Taste of Country). Knowing the series was in good hands probably gave Levine the confidence he needed to leave.