Alicia Keys' break from "The Voice" didn't last long. Just five months after announcing Jennifer Hudson would replace Keys on the singing competition so Keys could focus on her music career, NBC issued a press release Wednesday saying Keys will return as a coach in "The Voice" season 14. That next season is in production now for a spring 2018 premiere.
"We are thrilled to welcome back Alicia's positive energy, competitive spirit and sheer talent," NBC executive Paul Telegdy said in the press release. "She brings unparalleled expertise and has proven she knows how to help artists win."
Telegdy is referring to Keys being the winning coach in "The Voice" season 13, which aired this spring. Team Alicia's Chris Blue was voted as the champion four months ago, in what was just Keys' second season as a coach (she had previously served as a celebrity advisor). Outside of the reality TV arena, she has fifteen Grammy Awards and released her sixth studio album Here in November, while she was still on the show. The record was number one on Billboard's Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums Chart and reached the second spot on the overall Billboard 200.
Now with the record approaching its one-year anniversary, Keys has the time to return her focus to mentoring other artists on "The Voice." It may also help that she's a known quantity on the show, while reaction to Hudson in her first season as a coach has been mixed according to a poll on the entertainment website Gold Derby. Although Hudson won "The Voice UK" last year, she seems to be having a harder time winning over "The Voice" viewers in the US. While it takes time for an audience to warm up to a new coach, bringing Alicia Keys back gives NBC a known name they can announce in season 14, especially since the show will already have a panel change with Clarkson coming aboard.
It's not known if Keys and Hudson will rotate coaching duties, or if Keys is coming back on a full-time basis. Whatever the terms of her deal, she'll be back to look for her second "The Voice" win in 2018.
"The Voice" airs Mondays and Tuesdays at 8 p.m. on NBC. Fans can also see Adam Levine and Maroon 5 perform live at Las Vegas's Mandalay Bay Events Center on Dec. 30 and 31; tickets are on sale now through AXS.
For more on Alicia Keys, visit her artist page at AXS.