The e-commerce giant has stopped sales of celebrity “personalities” for Alexa. In a note on the product pages for the available celebrity voices, Amazon indicates that they are no longer available for purchase.
“Melissa McCarthy’s Alexa voice is no longer available for purchase. Customers who previously purchased the experience may continue to use the skill until Sept 30, 2023, by saying ‘Hey Melissa,” reads the note online.
The voices available also included Lakers star, Shaquille O’Neal. Users that bought the voice-overs for $4.99 will still have access to them until the end of September.
Amazon didn’t reveal why they were discontinuing this feature but in a statement to CNET said, “After three years, we’re winding down celebrity voices. Customers will be able to continue using these voices for a limited time, and can contact our customer service team for a refund.”
The celebrity personalities worked with most voice-activated Echo devices, except for the first-generation Echo and Echo Dot. Other products not supported were wearables, Fire TVs and Fire Tablets.
When acquiring the skill, Alexa took a back seat and allowed the celebrity personality to take over. If users bought McCarthy’s voice, they could activate the device by saying “Hey Melissa” and if they bought Jackson’s voice they would wake up the device by saying “Hey Samuel.”
Watch an Alexa commercial below featuring Jackson in the recording studio interacting with the virtual assistant.