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Lionel Richie Bows Out of ‘Duets’ TV Show

With only a few months until “Duets,” the latest singing competition TV series is due to hit the airwaves, celebrity mentor Lionel Richie has announced he will no longer be part of the show, citing scheduling conflicts as the reason. Sugarland‘s Jennifer Nettles, Kelly Clarkson and Robin Thicke will now be joined by John Legend as one of the judges in Lionel’s place.

“Duets,” which will air on ABC, allows each coach to look for new singers any way they choose, and then narrow down the contestants to two performers, whom they will mentor and perform with each week. The grand prize is a recording contract on Hollywood Records.

Jennifer will have to juggle her summer tour dates for Sugarland’s In the Hands of the Fans tour with the TV show, but the songstress says she is still eager to participate in the new venture. “The concept of ‘Duets’ is so fresh because its mentoring is active and participatory,” she explains. “To be able to watch the arc of the beginning of a career is super thrilling. Really thrilling.”

Lionel and Jennifer may not be sharing the TV stage, but the two can still be found together on Lionel’s new album of duets, Tuskegee, which stayed at the top of the charts for two weeks. The two sang his self-penned 1984 hit, “Hello,” for the project.

Watch Lionel Richie & Shania Twain’s “Endless Love” Video

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