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Lionel Richie No Longer Judging on ‘Duets’ Show

Lionel Richie
Ethan Miller, Getty Images

Lionel Richie is the master of duets on his latest chart-topping album ‘Tuskegee,’ but he won’t be bringing his expertise to the singing competition show ‘Duets.’ The singer has dropped out of the show and will be replaced by John Legend.

Richie had been expected to serve as a mentor on the ABC program, which premieres on May 24, along with Kelly Clarkson, Robin Thicke and Jennifer Nettles of Sugarland. But as Taste of Country reported, Richie dropped out, citing scheduling conflicts.

Richie’s latest album, ‘Tuskegee’ includes 13 duets with country music stars like Shania Twain, Blake Shelton and Willie Nelson. The album hit No. 1 to become Richie’s first chart-topper since 1986.

At least the contestants on ‘Duets’ will be in good hands with Legend, one of the most talented vocalists in R&B and soul music. ‘Duets’ puts a different spin on the vocal competition genre. Instead of auditioning and whittling down a huge group of singers like ‘American Idol‘ or ‘The Voice,’ ‘Duets’ requires the mentors to go out and find their own duet partners, who perform with the mentors each week. Clarkson and Nettles have already been trying out singers, so Legend has some catching up to do.

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