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Rachel Lindsay hails Tayshia Adams as the next 'Bachelorette'

First Black "Bachelorette" Rachel Lindsay, pictured left in

First Black "Bachelorette" Rachel Lindsay, pictured left in a composite image, says she's happy for Tayshia Adams, the ABC franchise series' second Black lead. Credit: ABC/John Fleenor/Composite: ABC / John Fleenor

Rachel Lindsay, the first African-American star of the "Bachelor/Bachelorette" franchise, says she is pleased to see Tayshia Adams become the second Black Bachelorette.

"When I stepped in as Bachelorette, I wanted to pave a way for more diversity, for more people who look like me and who didn't look like the typical lead," Lindsay, 35, who married season 13 winner Bryan Abasolo, told "Entertainment Tonight" in a statement. "So to see another Bachelorette of color, I'm thrilled." She added, "I have been fighting for inclusion, and I've said before that Tayshia would be an excellent Bachelorette, so I am more than happy to pass the torch."

Adams, 29, will be the franchise's third Black star, following ABC's June announcement of Matt James as the first African-American "Bachelor."

"I am so excited to see what she's going to do, how she will represent herself and her journey to find love," Lindsay continued about Adams. "Now she's in the driver's seat, and I'm excited to see her get this opportunity."

Adams is expected to replace the current 16th season's Clare Crawley, 39, who reportedly is leaving this season partway through production.

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