Vanessa Williams, Jennifer Nettles and More to Join PBS' 'A Capitol Fourth' Celebration (Exclusive)

Vanessa Williams
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PBS is gearing up for a star-studded Fourth of July celebration! ET can exclusively reveal that Vanessa Williams will host the network's 41st annual A Capitol Fourth, which will feature performances from an A-list lineup.

During the special, Williams, live from Washington, D.C., will introduce each of the performances, which were pre-taped from locations across the country.

"I am so honored to be hosting A Capitol Fourth this year," Williams said. "I first performed on this national July 4th TV tradition in 2005, and it has always held a special place in my heart." 

Mickey Guyton, Gladys Knight, Ali Stroker, Jimmie Allen and Laura Osnes' performances were taped in D.C., while Jimmy Buffett and Cynthia Erivo's time onstage happened in Southern California.

Alan Jackson gave his performance for the special at Nashville's Ryman Auditorium, Pentatonix did so in Los Angeles, and Train took the stage in San Francisco.

Jennifer Nettles performed with the Broadway Inspirational Voices in New York City, while Auli’i Cravalho's performance was taped in Queens, New York.

Additionally, the National Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Maestro Jack Everly, will perform John Williams' "Olympic Fanfare" composition in tribute to Team USA, honoring the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Teams as they prepare for the Olympic Games in Tokyo.

The special will also feature a rousing rendition of Tchaikovsky’s "1812 Overture" with the National Symphony Orchestra and The Joint Armed Forces Chorus to accompany the fireworks.

Also participating are members of the U.S. Army Band "Pershing’s Own," the U.S. Army Herald Trumpets, The Joint Armed Forces Chorus, and The Armed Forces Color Guard.

The concert, which will open with a performance of the national anthem by Renée Fleming, will honor men and women of our military and their families for their contributions to our nation and their dedication to service.

"As families and friends reunite and the country begins to open up this Fourth of July, we plan to bring you an exciting program with the greatest fireworks display in the nation, performances by the biggest stars and patriotic favorites," Executive Producer Michael Colbert said. "Make A Capitol Fourth your Independence Day celebration. We have something for everyone’s party."

The 41st annual broadcast of A Capitol Fourth will air on PBS Sunday, July 4, from 8:00 to 9:30 p.m. ET, as well as to our troops serving around the world on the American Forces Network.

The program can also be heard in stereo over NPR member stations nationwide, and will be streaming on Facebook, YouTube, and PBS' website. It will also be available as Video on Demand from July 4 to July 18.

Watch the video below to look back on last year's special. 


Mickey Guyton on Making History at the ACM Awards and Morgan Wallen

Vanessa Williams on How Miss America Win Made Her ‘Grow Up Overnight'

Jennifer Nettles Honored With the First-Ever CMT Equal Play Award

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