The Voice” revealed earlier this year that longtime coach Kelly Clarkson would not be returning for the new season. Now, Clarkson is opening up about her decision to leave the reality competition show.

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Before “The Voice” announced that Clarkson wouldn’t return to the show for the fall 2022 season, the inaugural “American Idol” winner had been alluding to some major life changes.

“I’ve decided this year there’s just (going to) be a couple of changes for me that I can’t say here,” she said earlier this year, per Yahoo. “I’ve been able to make more time just for me and my kiddos and still be able to work. Just where we can get away on weekends and really do some fun stuff with my kids.

“They only want to hang out with you for so long and that’s now, so I got to take advantage of that,” she added.

In an exclusive interview with Variety, Clarkson shared that she spent the entire summer with her 8-year-old daughter, River, and 6-year-old son, Remington, on her ranch in Montana — her first summer away from work since she was 16.

It was a time when she’s typically busy filming “The Voice” and moving forward on other projects, but her divorce from music manager Brandon Blackstock was finalized earlier this year, and Clarkson said she needed the time off.

“Especially when all the feelings are happening, I’m like, ‘Oh, let’s be as busy a bee as we can, so I don’t have to feel this for a minute!’” she told Variety. “I do that, which is not healthy. I was like, ‘I just need to keep swimming like Dory, and then I’ll get there.’ That’s why taking this summer was so important to me, even though a lot of people were kind of bummed because I was supposed to do a couple of things. Obviously, I stepped down on ‘The Voice’ this season, because I just needed the space.”

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But the break made room for creativity, Clarkson said. She started thinking about her next album — her first in five years — which she said she’ll release in 2023.

“This is an important album,” she told Variety. “I’m working on this in therapy: I have a hard time vocalizing what I’m feeling sometimes, so music is helpful for me. It’s just been really healing.

“Some of the songs, they definitely cover the gamut of emotions; there’s everything on the album,” she continued. “It’s almost like the arc of a relationship, because the beginning is so beautiful and so sweet, and then it evolves. And sometimes it doesn’t evolve how you want.”

After recharging over the summer, Clarkson is focusing her efforts on “The Kelly Clarkson Show,” which in its fourth season has now been given the coveted time slot previously held by Ellen DeGeneres, per Variety. Throughout the season, the show will feature a wide range of guests — everyone from Hillary Clinton to first lady Jill Biden to Clarkson’s fellow “Voice” coaches Blake Shelton and Gwen Stefani.

Clarkson is also scheduled to receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on Sept. 19 — the day the new season of “The Voice” premieres, according to

Will Kelly Clarkson return to ‘The Voice’?

Clarkson first joined “The Voice” in 2014, and won four times — including the most recent season that saw the sibling trio Girl Named Tom claim the victory, per Deadline. Coaches on “The Voice” have cycled in and out over the years. Gwen Stefani and Nick Jonas have traded spots on the show, and Ariana Grande came in for Season 21 and is not returning this fall.

Singer-songwriter Camila Cabello is replacing Clarkson as a coach on the upcoming season of “The Voice,” the Deseret News reported.

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Over the years, Usher, Christina Aguilera, Jennifer Hudson, Alicia Keys and Miley Cyrus have also been coaches, according to the reality competition site Gold Derby. Shelton is the only remaining original coach on “The Voice.”

Clarkson told Variety there’s a good chance she’ll return to the show.

“I definitely … um, I probably will be back at ‘The Voice’ at some point,” she said with a laugh. “I might be back at ‘The Voice.’”