Blake Shelton And Niall Horan Developed An Off-Camera Friendship From The Voice

For the past decade, Blake Shelton has been a mainstay on NBC's "The Voice." He is the only coach who has been in one of the iconic red chairs for every season of the show. Not only that, but the contestants he has mentored have won the show an impressive nine times, making him the "Voice" coach with the most wins. In addition to helping aspiring singers hone their talents, Shelton has built lasting relationships with many of his fellow coaches who have come and gone on the show, most notably with Gwen Stefani, who has been a coach on five nonconsecutive seasons of the show. The cross-genre couple tied the knot in July of 2021, making Shelton a stepdad to Stefani's three kids.

In addition to his bond with his wife, Shelton featured on former coach Shakira's song "Medicine" and despite an onscreen rivalry, former coach Adam Levine once called Shelton "my brother for life" in a heartfelt Instagram post. Season 23 of "The Voice" is the last for Shelton, but he's used his final season to form another offscreen friendship, this time with newcomer Niall Horan.

Niall Horan said that meeting Blake Shelton was fate

Irish singer-songwriter Niall Horan was first launched into international stardom as a member of One Direction along with bandmates Zayn Malik, Harry Styles, Liam Payne, and Louis Tomlinson. The group tentatively called it quits in 2015 and each has pursued solo careers. Horan has since had two top-five albums on the Billboard 200 and has worked with the likes of Julia Michaels and Maren Morris. Season 23 is Horan's first time as a coach for "The Voice," and he hit it off with one of his fellow judges right away.

Horan told InStyle that meeting Blake Shelton was "fate" and that they immediately got along well. "Even outside of 'The Voice,' we'll try to meet up for a beer or whatever. He's just a good man," Horan stated. Shelton likened his relationship with Horan to that of a father and son. On his Instagram stories, he posted a photo of them on set with the caption, "I knew he was meant to be my son when he laughed at all my jokes."

Niall Horan does an impression of Blake Shelton

In true bromance fashion, Niall Horan occasionally swaps his Irish accent for a southern accent in order to show off an entertaining impression of Blake Shelton. However, Blake Shelton's friendship with Niall Horan does not mean that the stars aren't still in fierce competition over the artists who audition for "The Voice." Horan convinced Oklahoma singer Ross Clayton to join his team even though Shelton frequently uses his Oklahoma roots to score contestants from the southern United States.

It's possible that a country music element to Horan's career has made him a natural friend of Shelton's. For instance, country star Maren Morris features on the song "Seeing Blind" from Horan's 2017 album "Flicker." Horan performed the song with her at the 2017 CMA Awards and Morris served as Horan's opening act for his North American tour in 2018. Given that Shelton has collaborated on songs with other coaches from "The Voice" like Shakira and Gwen Stefani, fans might be holding out hope for a collaboration with Horan someday.