In with John Legend, out with Lionel Richie. Richie, who has experienced a staggering career comeback with “Tuskegee,” has dropped out of vocal competition “Duets.”
Citing “scheduling issues,” Richie will not appear on the show, which also features Kelly Clarkson, Sugarland”s Jennifer Nettles and Robin Thicke as they search for singers across the country with whom to sing. The winner will receive a recording contract from Hollywood Records, according to the Hollywood Reporter. The show debuts on ABC this summer.
In other musical competition news, Mary J. Blige has linked with “American Idol” executive producer Nigel Lythgoe for “Opening Act” on E! The judges, which also include producer Antonina Armato, will scan the Internet to find unsigned acts and then reward them the chance to open for a big name after running them through a performance boot camp.
Among the acts who have signed on to allow the winner to open one of their shows are Nicki Minaj, Brad Paisley, Jason Mraz, Rod Stewart, LMFAO, Jason Aldean and Gym Class Heroes.