Brad Paisley is joining The Voice next season, serving as an advisor to contestants on Blake Shelton’s team. The news arrives one year after Paisley’s two-month stint on ABC’s now-defunct Rising Star, a similarly-styled singing competition in which Paisley, Ke$ha and Ludacris all served as judges.
“If you know anything about country music, you know who Brad Paisley is,” Shelton tells People.com. “He’s Entertainer of the Year. He’s Male Vocalist of the Year. He’s sold millions of albums and sold out tours. He’s just one of the more respected singers.”
Along with Maroon 5’s Adam Levine, Shelton is the only judge to remain with The Voice over the show’s eight seasons. When he helped launch the series in 2011, singing competitions tended to be judged by pop and rock & roll veterans, with country singers relegated to guest appearances instead of permanent positions. Shelton helped turn the tide, with Keith Urban — who became an American Idol judge in early 2013 — following closely behind. Coincidentally, Paisley was rumored to have been offered a spot on Idol‘s staff in 2012 but turned it down.
The Voice‘s ninth season kicks off September 21st. Although the NBC show has yet to officially announce all of its guest mentors, Paisley will reportedly be joined by Missy Elliot (the advisor for Team Pharrell), Selena Gomez (advisor for judge — and soon-to-be single woman — Gwen Stefani) and John Fogerty (mentor for the show’s closest approximation of a rock & roller, Adam Levine).
A Team Blake member has won The Voice in four of eight seasons. The country superstar’s victors include Jermaine Paul, Cassadee Pope, Danielle Bradbery and Craig Wayne Boyd.