Back in April of 2011, something very special happened to television. We were blessed with a new singing competition show called The Voice.

If you haven't seen The Voice, you'd be forgiven for thinking it's "just another singing competition show," à la American Idol or America's Got Talent. But you'd be wrong.

Produced by Mark Burnett, The Voice has been on the air for 16 seasons, with season 17 slated to premiere in September of this year.

But today we found out that season 17 will be missing something vital. Actually, it will be missing someone who has been integral to the show since its inception. After 16 seasons in one of those awesome red judges' seats, Adam Levine has announced that he will not be returning for season 17.

Read on to find out why he's calling it quits, as well as the public appearance that clued some people in on the fact that he was unhappy with the show.

 

The Voice has captured the hearts of audiences all around the country.

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As soon as it came on the air, people realized that it was anything but another competition show. The Voice has something truly special going on.

Personally, I think a big part of it is the chairs.

They look both extremely comfortable and very important. If I ever got the chance to spin around in one of those chairs, I would take it in a heartbeat. Just saying.

Of course, the real draw to the show is the judges.

While a lot of competition shows focus mainly on the talent, The Voice bucks that tradition with an emphasis on the celebrity judges. During the competition, the judges assemble their own team of talented singers in the hopes of one member winning the whole thing. If your singer wins, you (as the judge) are also a winner. A number of well-known stars have judged the show over the years, including Miley Cyrus, Shakira, Usher, and Pharell Williams.

Adam Levine has also been a judge.

But putting it that way is kind of an understatement. The Maroon 5 frontman has actually been a judge in Every. Single. Season. All 16 of them.

Back on May 10, The Voice announced next season's roster of judges:

According to the post, viewers of season 17 could expect the same judges from season 16: John Legend, Blake Shelton, Adam Levine, and Kelly Clarkson. But just a few days after that announcement, something happened that caused some viewers to wonder whether Levine was actually willing to commit to another season.

The NBCUniversal Upfronts took place on May 13, and people couldn't help but notice that Levine's performance was somewhat lacking.

I know the phrase "nope-ing through the Voice medley" might seem a little harsh, but... Just watch the video.

See?

Yeah. For whatever reason, Levine didn't seem super into performing with his fellow judges at the Upfronts.

And people definitely noticed.

At the time, no one was sure why Levine seemed less than enthusiastic about appearing in public with the judges. Nonetheless, people definitely suspected that something was up. And it was.

Today, The Voice posted this on Twitter:

Apparently, Levine has made the decision not to appear as a judge in the 17th season of The Voice. After 16 seasons with the same show, he's calling it quits.

Gwen Stefani will be replacing him.

Stefani has been a judge in three other seasons, so we definitely don't doubt her abilities to be an excellent judge. (Plus, there will probably be plenty of entertaining back-and-forths with fellow judge/real-life boyfriend Blake Shelton.)

But...Why, Adam? Why?!

As much as we love Gwen & Blake, we also really enjoyed watching Adam and Blake's bromance blossom over the past 16 seasons. Alas. I guess it just wasn't meant to be.

Following the announcement, Levine posted this photo on Instagram:

The Rolling Stone cover from February 2012 features Levine along with fellow season 1 judges CeeLo Green, Christina Aguilera, and (of course) Blake Shelton.

The photo was accompanied by a lengthy caption, wherein Levine thanked many people who had a hand in his journey with The Voice:

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About 8 years ago, Mark Burnett convinced us to sign up for this show where you sit in a big red chair with your back turned away from the singers on the stage. First thank you must go to Mark. ❤️ We had no idea what we were doing or where it was going. After the first day of shooting, I sat there, stunned. I said to myself, “theres some magic here. Something is definitely happening."

He detailed just how great an effect the show had on his life:

It went on to be a life-shaping experience that will be close to my heart forever. Thank you, NBC for signing me up. I am truly honored to have been a part of something I’ll always cherish for the rest of my life.

He also made sure to thank all of his fellow coaches.

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Thank you to every single coach I ever sat in those chairs with. That is a shared experience that is singularly ours. We have that for life.

The show's host Carson Daly also merited a shout-out:

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Thank you to everyone who supported this long strange and amazing left turn into a place I never thought I’d go. Thank you, Carson Daly, for babysitting the musicians and making sure our shoes were tied and we had our lunch boxes. You are the backbone of this thing and we appreciate you more than you know.

Executive Producer and showrunner Audrey Morrissey was also mentioned:

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Audrey, thank you for being perhaps the most patient person in all the free world. 4 musicians all at once is a lot. Sainthood is imminent.

And, of course, Paul Mirkovich and the band:

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Thank you to Paul Mirkovich and the band for their ridiculously hard work and learning more songs than maybe any band ever. ? Thank you to the people behind the scenes who do the real work and make this machine hum.

His tribute to Blake Shelton might make you tear up a bit:

To the amazingly talented vocalists who competed on the show and blew my mind on a daily basis. And, BLAKE F**KIN’ SHELTON. I couldn’t hide my love for you if I tried. Seriously. I tried. Can’t do it. Our friendship is and always will be one for the books. Whatever this whole surreal experience was, I'm just happy I got to experience it with you. You’re my brother for life.

And Levine even said that he might drop in to say hi to Kelly Clarkson and John Legend:

via: Getty

Kelly and John, take care of the cowboy and I’m sure I’ll be back to say hi very very soon. So much love to you both.

And, of course, Levine ended with thanking both the fans and his manager.

And lastly, to all of the loyal voice fans, there’s literally no show without you guys. For me, it was time to move on. Your support has meant EVERYTHING. And Lastly, I’d like to thank my manager Jordan for convincing me to take that meeting. ? What an amazing ride. Thank you all so much. ❤️ Adam

So there you have it.

After a solid 16 seasons in one of the coolest seats in the world, Adam Levine is leaving the show. At least for season 17, anyway. Who knows — maybe he'll be back in a later season!

Fellow judge Kelly Clarkson chimed in on Levine's decision, saying it will be weird to work without him.

It'll be weird to watch the show without him, too! While the other judges are sure to do a great job, true fans will probably miss seeing Levine in action.

Blake Shelton also shared his thoughts on Levine's departure from the show:

Shelton is the only other judge who has been on the show for every season so far, so you know that he and Levine share a special bond in that regard. (Not to mention the aforementioned bromance.)

The fans also had a lot to say.

Since the judges' teams are such an important part of the show, it's not uncommon for viewers to root for a judge just as much as they root for an actual competitor of the show. For some, Levine was the true star.

Some even suggested that Levine return as a mentor.

It could happen! As The Voice posted, the members of their team are more of a family than anything, and with family, it's not "goodbye;" it's "see you later." Could that mean see you later this season? Fans can hope!

Some fans have been super understanding and supportive of Levine's decision:

Like this person, who recognizes that change is inevitable. Too true! After 16 seasons on the same show, you can't fault Levine for maybe wanting to take a break from television.

Others are so shocked by Levine's departure that they're now vowing to stop watching the show.

The most recent season of The Voice made some drastic changes to the competition which some people truly did not like, like adding Live Cross Battles and trios. Although change may be inevitable, some people don't like it and have decided to stop watching.

Honestly, I'm just sad to be losing a weekly dose of the Shelton/Levine bromance.

I hadn't even come up with a good couple name for them yet! Shelvine? Lelton? Dang.

Anyway, here's wishing Adam Levine the best of luck in his future endeavors!

Will you still be tuning into The Voice? Let us know in the comments! And be sure to share this with a fellow Voice fan!