John Legend to Replace Lionel Richie on ABC's Duets

After Richie steps down, Legend fills open slot on judges’ panel.

Posted: 05/01/2012 11:32 AM EDT

ABC's upcoming singing competition series Duets is replacing one R&B star with another. The show has announced that John Legend will be coming onboard as a judge, replacing Lionel Richie, who recently bowed out.

Other judges set to appear on the show include Kelly Clarkson, Robin Thicke and Jennifer Nettles.

Duets is different from other singing competitions in that the judges themselves will eventually be singing alongside the contestants. Each will serve as a mentor to two aspiring singers, with one eventually selected to receive a Hollywood Records recording contract.

“I’m thrilled to be part of Duets, and I’m looking forward to finding an undiscovered gem out there,” Legend said in a statement. "This is going to be a lot of fun."

Richie had originally been scheduled to appear on the show, but had to back out due to scheduling issues. The '80s icon has been out performing in support of his own hit duets album Tuskegee, which has been the best selling album in the country for the past two weeks in a row.

 

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(Photos: Fernando Leon/Getty Images; Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

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