Stefani, 44, who rose to fame as the blonde-haired sultry
lead singer of Southern California rock group No Doubt, will
join Pharrell in taking over from current judges, Colombian
singer Shakira and R&B star Usher.
NBC also said that Christina Aguilera, one of the show's
original four celebrity coaches, will return for the eighth
season next year. She took a hiatus from "The Voice" after
season five, and is expecting a child.
The Emmy-winning show has outpaced competition from Fox's
reality singing contest "American Idol," averaging about 13.8
million viewers per episode this season, trumping "Idol" by
about 3 million viewers per episode.
The show's celebrity panel of judges led by Aguilera, Maroon 5
frontman Levine and country music star Shelton, has been
credited with helping it draw viewers.
"The Voice" is also considered a coveted spot to promote songs,
such as Maroon 5 and Aguilera's "Moves Like Jagger" that became
a hit in 2011, after the singers performed it on the show.
Grammy-winning Stefani is best known for No Doubt hits including
"Don't Speak" and "Hey Baby," and her solo career with songs
such as "Hollaback Girl." The singer, who also has a successful
clothing line, L.A.M.B., is returning to the spotlight after the
birth of her third child.
She will join fellow "Voice" newcomer Pharrell to perform on the
show's telecast next week, each performing their latest hits.
The duo performed together during Pharrell's set earlier this
month at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts festival.
(Reporting by Piya Sinha-Roy; editing by Mohammad Zargham)
[© 2014 Thomson Reuters. All rights
Copyright 2014 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published,
broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.