Blake Shelton may be hanging up his hat on The Voice to focus on his family, but don't count him out musically. The veteran star says he couldn't possibly leave music behind.

"Walking away from music, you might as well just poison me or something," he tells People. "That's not something I can go without. I can't help it."

Despite his passion for his craft, Shelton is in no hurry to put out a new album. His latest full-length project, Body Language, arrived in 2021.

"I'm really at a crossroads right now," he admits. "The country music lane is changing so rapidly, and there's some really good stuff out there. These young kids coming up, it's amazing to see the music that they're making and how creative they are."

The Oklahoma native has been exposed to several talented music makers while sitting in his red chair through nearly 22 seasons of The Voice. Although he's a mentor on the series, he's just as much a student in the music industry as the contestants. It's for this reason, he says, he is excited to step away from the show.

"I'm enjoying watching what's happening and putting a song out once in a while. That's another reason that I'm excited to get some time back away from The Voice and concentrate more on, 'What kind of record do I want to make? Is it going to fit in? Do I care? Do I not care?' I got a lot to figure out," Shelton explains.

"But I'm not getting away from music! [Now] I can control the timing, and I'm not on anybody else's schedule when it comes to making a record or touring. I can fit it in a way that makes more sense for us," he adds.

Shelton is also planning on spending more time with his family without having to commit to two season of The Voice each year. In addition to being with his wife of one year, Gwen Stefani, the "No Body" singer will get to enjoy being a stepfather to sons Kingston, 16, Zuma, 14 and Apollo, 8.

"Even though I'm a stepparent, I take that job very seriously," he shares in the latest People cover story. "The kids see me as a very important person in their life. [When they ask,] 'Why isn't Blake here?' I take that stuff to heart. I've made plenty of money, but you can't buy time back. I don't want any regrets."

While fans wait for music news from Blake Shelton, they won't have to wait to see him perform. The "Austin" singer will launch his Back to the Honky Tonk Tour on Feb. 16 with Carly Pearce and Jackson Dean. The trek will keep him busy until March 25.

Season 23 of The Voice will debut with pre-taped episodes on March 6.

10 Blake Shelton Facts You Probably Didn't Know

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