NEW YORK Feb 19 Grammy-winning R&B singer Cee
Lo Green, a judge on NBC's "The Voice" singing competition, said
he has decided to leave the popular show after four seasons but
will continue to work with the television network.
Green made the surprise announcement on "The Ellen DeGeneres
Show" daytime TV talk show on Wednesday.
"I'm not coming back at all," Green told a surprised
DeGeneres while singer Lionel Richie sat beside her.
"I just don't want to wear out my welcome there. You know
what I'm saying? I have so many other things that I want to do,"
Green, 39, said he has a television show in development with
NBC and hinted there may be some other talk show opportunities.
He also plans to tour with Richie later this year and will be
working on an album.
"I haven't released an album in four years. I'm almost done
with my album," said Green. "I didn't mean to drop the bomb
Comcast Corp-owned NBC confirmed that Green was
leaving the singing contest, and he and the network were working
on upcoming programming.
Green, best known for his 2010 hit song "Forget You," has
been a fixture on "The Voice" as a judge along with singer
Christina Aguilera, Maroon 5's Adam Levine and country star
Blake Shelton since it premiered in 2011.
Colombian pop star Shakira and R&B singer Usher have
replaced Aguilera and Green in the spring season of the show.
News that he would not be returning to the show came after
Green, whose real name is Thomas DeCarlo Callaway, pleaded not
guilty last October to a felony charge of giving the drug
ecstasy to woman in a Los Angeles restaurant without her
knowledge while they were dining together.
If convicted Green could face four years in prison.
The sixth season of "The Voice" returns on Feb. 24. The
two-hour season finale of the show last June, which featured
Cher in her first live TV performance in more than a decade,
attracted 15.3 million viewers.