Tuskegee, his current album filled with country-tinged duets of his classic hits, may have hit the top of the Billboard album charts, but Lionel Richie has opted to vacate his position as one of the four celebrity mentors on ABC’s upcoming singing competition Duets.
According to Entertainment Weekly the former Commodore will be replaced by R&B superstar John Legend.
The initial lineup for Duets was announced in March, with Richie joining Kelly Clarkson, Sugarland’s Jennifer Nettles, and Robin Thicke on the show which would pair celebrity mentors with the contestants as performing partners.
According to his rep, “personal scheduling conflicts” prompted Richie’s departure from the show, although he has recently been seen in commercials promoting the summer songfest.
Richie will be setting out on a European tour this fall to further promote Tuskegee.
–Brad Haynes SUNNY-FM Orlando, Florida