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Townsend inks for ‘Motown’ host gig

Long list of chart-toppers skedded for apearances

Comedian Robert Townsend, who sang the praises of classic doo-wop and R&B with his 1991 pic “The Five Heartbeats,” has signed to host Polygram TV’s new syndie music showcase “Motown Live.”

Artists set to appear on the hourlong weekly series include chart-toppers Monica, Wyclef Jean, Mary J. Blige, Chaka Khan, the O’Jays and Motown’s own smooth-stepping Temptations. “Motown Live,” which bows next month, is produced by Elephant Walk Entertainment and Grammy Awards vet Ken Ehrlich.

Townsend made his name as a comic auteur with his 1987 indie feature “Hollywood Shuffle.” He’s been exec producer and star of the WB Network sitcom “The Parent ‘Hood” since 1995.

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