Colombian singer Shakira and American R&B artist Usher will join forces next spring on the television program "The Voice" replacing Christina Aguilera and Cee Lo Green for the season, NBC said.

Aguilera will use her time off from the show to launch a new disc and go on tour, while Green is working on two albums and developing a comedy series for NBC based on his own life.

The other judges on the program, Adam Levine and Blake Shelton, will remain during season four accompanied by Shakira and Usher.

"We knew we needed to find another great female talent in music and Shakira's name came to mind immediately," executive producer Mark Burnett said.

"Usher is not just a singer or an entertainer, he is a global icon," Burnett said.

NBC decided to expand its program to two editions a year, a decision that obliged some of its judges to leave the program temporarily to fulfill their musical engagements.

"Doing two back-to-back cycles of this show requires a tremendous amount of time and we are happy to accommodate the commitments made by Christina and Cee Lo," NBC presidente Bob Greenblatt said.

"Being a coach on 'The Voice' is a wonderful experience and the relationship amongst us all is like an extended family," Aguilera, who on Nov. 13 will launch her disc "Lotus," said.

"It is important for me to take season four off, allowing me to support my music that my fans have been waiting for. By pursuing my first passion of music during the break, I am also able to come back and offer even more to my team on 'The Voice' in the future," the songstress said.

"I will return for season five and will be watching season four. NBC is home and as far as Usher and Shakira are concerned - 'mi casa su casa,'" Green said. EFE