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John Legend replacing Lionel Richie on ABC's 'Duets' competition

By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 05/01/2012 

John Legend is in and Lionel Richie is out of ABC's new Duets reality series.

ABC has announced Legend will be joining the new reality singing competition as a replacement for Richie, who had previously been scheduled to serve as one of Duets' four celebrity duet partners.

Legend will compete against fellow established recording artists Kelly Clarkson, Jennifer Nettles and Robin Thicke as they each perform with undiscovered talent of their choosing.

"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 a statement.

According to Richie's representative, the singer dropped out of the show due to "personal scheduling conflicts," Entertainment Weekly reported.

Duets, which will be hosted by Quddus and air this summer, will feature the four stars stepping away from a typical judging-panel setting to individually search America for talented singers worthy of performing with them.

Legend, Clarkson, Nettles, and Thicke will eventually each select two singers to be their duet partners, and together, they will perform onstage each week for a live studio audience rather than simply judge or mentor them alone. The new series will conclude with one duet topping the charts and the amateur performer in that duo winning a recording contract with Hollywood Records.

Duets is being produced by Keep Calm and Carry On Productions with Robert Deaton serving as an executive producer and Charles Wachter a co-executive producer.

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