Smallz & Raskind exclusively for BillboardSince it began, the big criticism about The Voice has been that it hasn’t created any music stars: it’s simply made the show’s coaches — from Adam Levine to Shakira to Blake Shelton to Christina Aguilera — even more rich and famous than they were before. But now, the coaches say that even if the contestants don’t become stars, they’re still receiving something very valuable from their time on the show: advice.
Adam, who said in 2012 that The Voice has to produce a star in order to “continue to be taken seriously,” is now singing a different tune. He tells Billboard that the show is really more about helping prospective singers to be “as well-equipped as possible for reality, which starts the minute that confetti falls and people continue with their careers.”
The new coach, Pharrell Williams, agrees, telling Billboard, “I just don’t like that we’re talking about this from the defense, as if there’s something wrong [with the show]. I never had a Gwen Stefani, or an Adam Levine, or a Blake Shelton to come in and tell me anything when I was 15 years old.”
As for his tenure on the show, Pharrell says that while he’s on board for this fall season, which starts September 22, he won’t be coming back for the spring, because he’s too busy producing artists like Ed Sheeran and fellow newbie coach Gwen. “I consider this another great musical endeavor,” he says. “This is a studio session to me.”
As for Gwen, the mom to two older boys and six-month-old son Apollo, tells Billboard, “In my life and my career, yes, I could just go back in and try to make another record right now with No Doubt, and see what happens while I’m in between breast-feedings and up all night. But this really shakes it up for me. This is inspiring in a whole new way.”
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