Blake Shelton poses in his chair as a coach on The Voice season 22

Blake Shelton Opens Up About Marriage, Stepsons and Leaving 'The Voice' in New Interview

It seems like only yesterday the world fell in love with Blake Shelton, the handsome, witty and wickedly competitive Oklahoman country artist who shot to mainstream fame as a coach on NBC's The Voice. Now, after 12 years in the iconic red chair, Shelton is ready to move on. 

In a new interview with People, the 46-year-old country superstar reflected on his time spent in the hottest of spotlights, his post-Voice plans and his hopes for a more laid-back life with his wife, Gwen Stefani, and his three stepsons. 

This fall, Shelton announced his plan to exit The Voice after 23 seasons, writing in an Instagram post, "I've been wrestling with this for a while and I've decided that it's time for me to step away."

The country star is the centerpiece of the hit singing competition series, having served as a celebrity coach since the show's inception. 

"The holdup over the years has been that it's a hard thing for me to let go of. I've been here literally since the first minute," said Shelton. "When I started on The Voice, that was 10 years into my career as a country artist. I never really made it to the A-level of country artists until I became a coach. The show did a hell of a lot more for me than I brought to the table at the time. I've far exceeded anything I thought I could ever accomplish in the entertainment world."

The Voice did much more for Shelton than catapult him to the top of country music stardom. It's also where he met his now-wife, pop star Gwen Stefani.

The two were married in a gorgeous ceremony in July 2021, and now they're striking out for a quieter life of domestic bliss — one that's perhaps too normal. 

"Gwen and I have done so much traveling and touring and work the first half of our lives that now we're like, 'Hey, I'm good to put my sweatpants on at 6 p.m. and watch Ozark eight times,'" he says. "That's our life now, and we love it."

Shelton is a stepfather to Stefani's three sons, Kingston (16), Zuma (14) and Apollo (8). It's a role he relishes — and one that he wants to prioritize. 

"If I walked away from my career at this time, the only thing that I run the risk of is having regrets that I'm missing out on some more important things in life. For now, that's our kids," Shelton said. "This isn't about me anymore and never will be again." 

Shelton and Stefani are Hollywood royalty at this point, and they often perform live together at some of the music industry's biggest events. Most recently, the two cut a festive, loved-up picture for a live performance of their 2017 hit, "You Make It Feel Like Christmas," at NBC's annual Christmas in Rockefeller Center holiday special.

But the country-pop crossover couple are most comfortable away from the spotlight. Their private oasis is a 1,300-acre ranch in Shelton's native Oklahoma. 

Shelton won't be stepping away from public life completely. He's currently co-hosting Barmageddon, a game show in which celebrity guests compete in increasingly wacky drinking games, alongside his close friend, Carson Daly. And Shelton's upcoming tour, dubbed Back to the Honky Tonk, kicks off Feb. 16 in Lincoln, Nebraska. So much for slowing down. 

"It's time to push some of this [work] stuff out and let more family and personal life in."

If Shelton needs some me-time, then the guy should enjoy his me-time. (But that doesn't mean we can't hope for a few surprise live performances with Stefani every now and then.)

New episodes of Barmageddon air Monday nights at 11pm EST / 10pm CST on the USA Network.

READ MORE: Gwen Stefani's Three Kids Are Close With Their Stepdad Blake Shelton