Shortly after it was announced that Nicki Minaj and Keith Urban will be joining the judges table on American Idol, NBC's The Voice announced that it has also landed two new high-profile coaches: Usher and Shakira. The two singers will take over for Cee-Lo Green and Christina Aguilera, who will take a break from the show when it starts its fourth season in the spring. Cee-Lo and Christina both indicated that they will return to the show in the future, but they need time to focus on other projects. Aguilera is set to release a new album, Lotus, in November, and launch a tour shortly thereafter, while Green is working on a solo LP, an album with Goodie Mob, and he's planning a residency in Las Vegas. He also has a memoir and a sitcom in the works, plus he has a Christmas album coming out on October 30.
"I am so proud of being part of the show from the beginning, all the work we've done, and proud of what the show stands for as a whole," said Aguilera in a statement. "I am a singer and performer first and I am so excited to get back to that love... By pursuing my first passion of music during the break, I am also able to come back and offer even more to my team on The Voice in the future."
"I'm highly enthusiastic about focusing my undivided attention on my additional endeavors and interests," said Green. "I will return for season five and will be watching season four. NBC is home and as far as Usher and Shakira are concerned – mi casa su casa."
The Voice's other judge/mentors, Adam Levine and Blake Shelton, will stay in place for season four, which starts in the spring of 2013.