Gwen Stefani is getting back to her reggae and ska roots for the upcoming season of “The Voice.” Stefani is returning as a judge after a hiatus and has chosen a Grammy-winning legend to be her celebrity advisor during the NBC singing competition.
“I grew up loving ska music, which was, at the time, like, super underground,” Stefani told ET. “[There were] a lot of English groups like Madness, The Specials, and The Selecter, which led me into reggae music… And then, it’s just crazy to think that all these years later, I’m standing with a legend.”
Battle Rounds are unique to “The Voice” format and happen once the coaches have set their teams after the blind auditions. Each coach and their celebrity advisor begin to mentor and develop their team.
Then the coach must choose two of their own team members to battle against each other while they sing the same song together. Once the battle is over, the coach must choose one of the singers to advance to the next round, while the losing artist is available for other coaches to “steal.” Each coach has two steals during the battle rounds.
2 Reggae Souls
Though “Light My Fire” was the first official collaboration between Stefani and Paul, Stefani explained to ET their “souls knew each other” for a long time before they worked together.
The feelings are mutual. “When she said yes, I did a little dance,” Paul said of asking Stefani to be on his album, Paul told ET.
After the collaboration, Stefani knew she had to ask Paul to be her Battle Advisor. “We had hooked up with this song, and I was like, ‘Gosh, you know, I should get him to do [The Voice] – that would be perfect,” Stefani told ET. “I just asked.”
Paul is a Jamaican reggae and dancehall legend who helped pioneer a dancehall pop genre in mainstream music in the 2000s. The genre is a fusion between dancehall rhythms and melodies and western pop music.
His second album, “Dutty Rock,” won Reggae Album of the Year at the 2004 Grammy Awards. That same year, “Get Busy” was also nominated for best rap song; Paul was heard on Beyoncé’s U.S. No. 1 single “Baby Boy” and on Blu Cantrell’s “Breathe.”
Stefani has sat out the last two seasons of “The Voice” but is returning for the upcoming season. She started coaching during season 7 in 2014. In season 8 she was a part-time advisor and returned to coaching in season 9. Again, Stefani changed to part-time advisor in season 10 but didn’t participate in season 11. Then she returned for season 12. After season 12 she didn’t return to “The Voice” until season 17 for one season.
In season 19, Stefani returned and got her first-ever win with finalist Carter Rubin. This will be Stefani’s first time coaching as a newlywed – she and “The Voice” co-star Blake Shelton tied the knot in July 2021.
Stefani and Paul join a star-studded cast of coaches and advisors when the new season kicks off on Monday, September 19.