WASHINGTON, June 28, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- This July 4th, America's national Independence Day celebration kicks off our country's 240th birthday with a special salute to our Olympians and Paralympians as they prepare for Rio. Led by Olympic Gold medalist Scott Hamilton, A CAPITOL FOURTH will feature a tribute to Team USA before a crowd of hundreds of thousands live from the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol. In celebration of our nation's greatest athletes, number one selling country music star and the Season 3 winner of THE VOICE Cassadee Pope will perform her inspiring hit single "I Am Invincible."
A CAPITOL FOURTH will also celebrate the 75th anniversary of the USO and honor their dedication to supporting America's service members and their families around the world. For 75 years, the USO has continued to strengthen our military by keeping them connected to family, home and country (www.uso.org/75). Presented by distinguished American leader General Colin L. Powell USA (Ret.), the tribute will feature footage highlighting the history of the USO plus a performance of "Soldier" by multi-platinum selling singer-songwriter Gavin DeGraw before a crowd of over 100 active duty service members and their families.
"I am honored to be at our nation's Capitol on Independence Day to pay tribute to the USO," shared General Colin Powell. "In Vietnam, I remember waiting for Bob Hope to provide a bit of entertainment and relief for soldiers over there. I know firsthand how much the USO means to our military members serving around the world."
The broadcast -- which will be live-streamed online for the first time ever on Facebook Live and www.pbs.org/a-capitol-fourth -- will also mark the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service as Alisan Porter, the Season 10 winner of THE VOICE and the National Symphony Orchestra perform one of the nation's best loved patriotic songs, "America the Beautiful," with stunning footage of some of the country's best national parks, heritage areas, scenic and historic trails. During the centennial celebration, a new generation is invited to discover the special places that belong to us all.
The 36th annual broadcast of A CAPITOL FOURTH airs on PBS Monday, July 4, 2016 from 8:00 to 9:30 p.m. ET before a concert audience of hundreds of thousands, millions more at home, as well as to our troops serving around the world on the American Forces Network. In addition to being live-streamed, the concert will be available as Video on Demand for a limited time only, July 4 to July 18, 2016. The program can also be heard live in stereo over NPR member stations nationwide. The patriotic tribute to our US Olympic and Paralympic Teams airs prior to NBC providing full coverage of the Rio 2016 Games beginning on Friday, August 5.
Hosted by Emmy Award-winning television personality Tom Bergeron (DANCING WITH THE STARS), A CAPITOL FOURTH (#July4thPBS) will also feature performances by: legendary Grammy Award-winning singer/songwriter Smokey Robinson; platinum selling recording star and Grammy Award-winner Kenny Loggins; actress and singer Amber Riley (GLEE), who is set to star in DREAMGIRLS THE MUSICAL on London's West End; musical prodigy and classical crossover star Jackie Evancho; Tony Award-winning Broadway and television star Sutton Foster (YOUNGER, GILMORE GIRLS); Grammy Award-winning gospel/adult contemporary superstar Yolanda Adams; and the cast of the smash hit Broadway musical ON YOUR FEET! the inspiring true story of Gloria and Emilio Estefan; with the National Symphony Orchestra under the direction of top pops conductor Jack Everly. Alisan Porter, the Season 10 winner of THE VOICE, will open the show with a special performance of the "National Anthem." The top-rated, award-winning program features twenty cameras positioned around the city, including the U.S. Capitol, the White House, the Lincoln Memorial and the Washington Monument putting viewers front and center for the greatest display of fireworks anywhere in the nation.
About Capital Concerts
Capital Concerts is the production force behind two of television's longest-running and highest-rated live programs commemorating America's most important holidays. THE NATIONAL MEMORIAL DAY CONCERT, the nation's tribute to our men and women in uniform, and A CAPITOL FOURTH, our country's biggest birthday party, have become American traditions that have consistently ranked among the highest rated programs on PBS over the past decade. The holiday specials have been honored with over 70 awards including the New York Film Festival Award, the Telly Award, the Golden Cine Award, the Videographer Award, the National Education Association Award, the Aurora Award, the Christopher Award, the Communicator's Award, the AXIEM Award, the Omni Award and the Writer's Guild of America Award.
A CAPITOL FOURTH is made possible by grants from The Boeing Company, the National Park Service, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the Department of the Army, PBS and public television stations nationwide. Air travel is provided by American Airlines.
About the USO
The USO strengthens America's military service members by keeping them connected to family, home and country, throughout their service to the nation. At hundreds of locations worldwide, we are united in our commitment to connect our service members and their families through countless acts of caring, comfort, and support. The USO is a private, non-profit organization, not a government agency. Our programs, services and entertainment tours are made possible by the American people, support of our corporate partners and the dedication of our volunteers and staff. In addition to individual donors and corporate sponsors, the USO is supported by President's Circle Partners: AT&T, the BNSF Railway Foundation, Clark Construction Group, LLC, The Coca-Cola Company, FedEx, Jeep, Johnson & Johnson, Kroger, NFL and Four-Star Partners: Advisors Excel, BIC, ConAgra Foods, GEICO, Harris Teeter, Lockheed Martin, Microsoft, Procter & Gamble, Starbucks, TKS, USAA and the Wawa Foundation. We are also supported through the United Way and Combined Federal Campaign (CFC-11381). To join us in this important mission, and to learn more about the USO, please visit uso.org.
About the National Park Service
The program will take place on the National Mall, one of 412 national parks across the country. In 2016, the National Park Service is celebrating 100 years of caring for and sharing America's special places, and looking ahead to a second century of helping Americans make meaningful connections to nature, history and culture. To join in the celebration, visit FindYourPark.com or EncuentraTuParque.com.
For images and additional information, visit PBS Pressroom at www.pbs.org/pressroom.
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SOURCE Capital Concerts