John Legend has praised Blake Shelton as the "heart and soul" of 'The Voice'.

The 'Ordinary People' hitmaker has enjoyed working alongside the country singer on the talent show and thinks his pal will be hugely missed when he stands down from the panel of coaches after season 23.

He said: "Well, you know, he's been doing the show for 22 seasons, it'll be 23 when he's done, and you can't do something forever.

"We're gonna miss him though. He's been the heart and soul and anchor of the show for a long time, and he's a friend of mine, and I really enjoy working with him.

"We're all gonna miss him."

John will be taking a break from the next season of the show while he and wife Chrissy Teigen prepare to welcome another child into the world, but teased he will return to the panel again one day.

He told 'Entertainment Tonight': "My family's growing, I have a new album out, I'm gonna do a little bit of touring, and so it's probably better that I take a break.

"We took a break last season because we had another show in our slot that the network tried -- and I thought that was gonna happen this season, but it ended up that they wanted us back...but I'll be back on 'The Voice', just not this coming season."

Blake announced earlier this week that he will be leaving the show, which he has been a coach on since it began in 2011.

He said in a statement: "I’ve been wrestling with this for a while and I’ve decided that it’s time for me to step away from 'The Voice' after season 23.

"This show has changed my life in every way for the better and it will always feel like home to me. It’s been a hell of a ride over these 12 years of chair turns and I want to thank everyone at 'The Voice' from NBC, every producer, the writers, musicians, crew and catering people, you are the best.

"It takes a lot of work, passion, and adult beverages (Ha!) to pull off a live show twice a week. I’ve made lifelong bonds with Carson and every single one my fellow coaches over the years, including my wife, Gwen Stefani! I have to give a huge shoutout to the singers – the ‘Voices’ who come on this stage season after season and amaze us with their talent and a special thanks to those who chose me to be their coach. 

"Lastly, it’s about y’all, the fans, who watch and support these artists, us coaches and everyone at The Voice chasing their dreams. It wouldn’t happen without you!"

He will be joined on his final season by returning coach Kelly Clarkson and newcomers Chance the Rapper and Louis Tomlinson.