Pharrell Williams is joining “The Voice.” The “Happy” hitmaker has been named the new coach of the U.S. reality show, replacing original judge Cee Lo Green for season seven.
In February, Green announced on Ellen DeGeneres’ eponymous talk show that he would not be returning to the show, saying he would like to prioritise his music career this time. He is also out of the judging panel in the current season six.
Green’s announcement prompted NBC network to confirm his departure from the show, claiming the decision was mutually reached by both parties.
And with the singer gone, one seat has been left vacant for the next season.
On Monday, NBC released a statement, saying that it has secured Williams as coach for the show.
“He has already made a considerable impact as a mentor, drawing on an impressive track record as both a producer and performer. It is a perfect fit for ‘The Voice’ as we evolve and reach for new heights with this franchise. It feels like we are welcoming an existing family member home,” Paul Telegdy, president of Alternative and Late Night Programming for NBC Entertainment, said.
Williams isn’t new to the series. He helped coach Usher in mentoring contestants during the fourth season of the show.
“I am thrilled to have Pharrell come back to ‘The Voice’ family, and this time... as a coach,” executive producer Mark Burnett added. “Continuing in ‘The Voice’ tradition of having the biggest and most current music stars as coaches, Pharrell fits perfectly.”
“The Voice” rotate coaches every season. Green and Christina Aguilera were replaced by Usher and Shakira during the fourth season, as well as the current season. Coaches Blake Shelton and Adam Levine continue to occupy their positions since the start.
The rest of the coach line-up will be announced at a later date.
Meanwhile, the show has just concluded its first round of battles, with the contestants having been narrowed to 32.