John Legend has been added to ABC's musical competition series Duets as a replacement for Lionel Richie, who has dropped out of the program.
It was announced in early March that Richie would take part in the series, but because of scheduling issues, he will not be participating. As of late, Richie -- whose country duets album Tuskegee has been No. 1 on the Billboard 200 for the past two weeks -- has made appearances on NBC's The Voice as a mentor and had a two-hour CBS concert special, ACM Presents: Lionel Richie and Friends -- In Concert, that aired April 13.
Legend will join Kelly Clarkson, Jennifer Nettles and Robin Thicke as they search the country for undiscovered musical talent to be featured on the summer show. The mentors ultimately will choose two singers to be their partners, and in the end, one partner will receive a recording contract with Hollywood Records.
“I’m thrilled to be part of Duets, and I’m looking forward to finding an undiscovered gem out there,” said Legend. "This is going be a lot of fun."
Legend has won nine Grammys since breaking out his 2004 debut Get Lifted. All three of his albums have made the Top 5 of the Billboard 200 and topped the R&B chart. His most recent disc, 2008's Evolver, peaked at No. 4 and went gold. He also has collaborated on songs by dozens of acts including Jay-Z, Kanye West, Lil Wayne and T.I.
Former Total Request Live host Quddus will lead the series, set to debut at 8 p.m. May 24.