Only two weeks before Duets was about to tape its very first episode, the surprising news came over that Lionel Richie had to drop out due to scheduling conflicts. The show was left scrambling for another superstar to take his place. Luckily, John Legend was up for the challenge.

CBS Local caught up with Kelly Clarkson this week and asked about the sudden change.  She said even though everyone was disappointed to see Richie go, it turned out to be the best decision for the show and for him.

“Honestly, I was sad to see Lionel leave,” she said. “But with Robin [Thicke], Jennifer [Nettles] and me on there, John brings something completely different to the table.”

Clarkson said it’s a testament to how talented Legend is that he was able to find his two partners for the show in less than a week, while the others had months.

“He’s an artist with such integrity… almost an underground indie level of artistry,” she said. “I’m a fan of him and super impressed by him as well.”

But the best part of Legend joining the show for Kelly is getting to see him perform live: “You get your own John Legend concert every week!”

In addition to tonight’s premiere of Duets, Clarkson also debuted her new video for “Dark Side” today, her third single off of Stronger. She teams up with director Shane Drake, who also did the video for “Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You),” for a powerful clip that takes a look at the not so picture perfect sides of people including an injured war vet and a fallen beauty queen. But of course Kelly, who filmed the video on her birthday, was there to hug it out.

Watch the clip below.

Shannon Carlin, CBS Local


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