Speaking with Extra before singing the national anthem at the Indy 500 on Sunday, Clarkson said she first heard the news the night before it was officially announced. “It was kind of a shocking thing,” Clarkson said. “But I kind of get it. He’s been doing it for eight years — that’s a long time. He’s got a couple kids. Still has a career. Still touring. It’s a very rigorous schedule fitting everything in.”
Clarkson, who will appear on the upcoming 17th season of The Voice alongside fellow coaches Blake Shelton, John Legend, and Levine’s replacement Gwen Stefani, also said Levine’s absence would be an adjustment for her. “It’ll be weird going to work,” she said. “‘Where’s Adam?’ But I totally get how busy it is trying to fit everything in plus having a family.”
The Maroon 5 frontman’s departure was first announced May 24 by The Voice host Carson Daly during a segment on the Today show. Daly said it was Levine’s decision to leave, and that he “will always be a cherished member of The Voice family, and of course we wish him nothing but the best.”
Later that day reports surfaced that Levine had been planning to leave the show for quite some time. A report by PEOPLE stated that, according to sources, Levine was unhappy with some of the show’s newer changes.
“He really didn’t like some of the changes to the format of the show last season, and it’s just time for him to leave,” the source said. “It wouldn’t be surprising if he came back to visit the show though. There’s new music coming soon for him, he’ll be touring and he plans to continue acting. He’s staying busy.”