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ABC announced in March that it was getting back into the singing competition game with Duets, in which competitors would get to sing with judges Kelly Clarkson and Lionel Richie. However, there has been a change of plans. Richie will be replaced with another immensely talented singer, John Legend.
The Hollywood Reporter reported Monday that the Get Lifted singer would be replacing Richie, who has recently released a hit new album, Tuskegee.
Richie’s schedule has picked up lately, as he was a guest mentor on NBC’s The Voice and recorded a CBS special called ACM Presents: Lionel Richie and Friends -- In Concert. He will also be touring Europe in the Fall. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the busy schedule will keep Richie from participating in Duets.
According to ABC’s announcement, Legend will still be joined by American Idol winner Clarkson, Jennifer Nettles and Robin Thicke.
“I’m thrilled to be part of Duets and I’m looking forward to finding an undiscovered gem out there. This is going be a lot of fun,” Legend said in the announcement.
Legend’s work has been critically acclaimed and has earned him nine Grammy awards. All three of his albums, including his debut album Get Lifted, debuted at number one. His last album was 2008’s Evolver.
Duets was first announced in March. The series will air during the summer and be produced by Keep Calm and Carry On Productions. The winner will receive a contract with Disney’s Hollywood Records. ABC has tried singing competitions in the past, but have yet to be as successful as NBC or Fox.