The 41st annual A CAPITOL FOURTH, America’s Independence Day celebration on PBS, returns hosted by multi-platinum recording artist and star of television, film and the Broadway stage Vanessa Williams. Planning has been underway for many months for A CAPITOL FOURTH to be a pre-recorded show due to the pandemic with a live fireworks presentation, in lieu of the traditional live concert on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol. The nation’s 245th birthday celebration will feature Williams hosting and performing from Washington, D.C. All-new pre-taped performances from locations across the country will feature top stars from pop, country, R&B, classical and Broadway. Capping off the concert broadcast will be live coverage of the fireworks display over our nation’s iconic skyline captured by multiple cameras stationed around the city.
“I am so honored to be hosting A CAPITOL FOURTH this year,” said host Vanessa Williams, “I first performed on this national July 4th TV tradition in 2005, and it has always held a special place in my heart.”
The award-winning, top-rated PBS broadcast will bring us together with themes of love, hope, and patriotism, with performances and tributes from around our great country by: multi-platinum selling music legend Jimmy Buffett and Tony, Emmy, and Grammy winner and two-time Oscar nominee, Cynthia Erivo from Southern California; multi-platinum selling country music icon and Grammy, CMA and ACM Award-winner Alan Jackson from the famed Ryman Auditorium in Nashville; three-time Grammy Award-winning and multi-platinum selling artists Pentatonix overlooking the downtown Los Angeles skyline; Grammy Award-winning country star Jennifer Nettles from the famed Town Hall in NYC’s Times Square with the Broadway Inspirational Voices; acclaimed actress and singer Auli’i Cravalho (MOANA, ALL TOGETHER NOW) in Queens, NY, from the Unisphere, a symbol of peace through understanding; diamond-selling and multi-Grammy Award-winning band Train overlooking the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco; and, from Washington, DC: “Empress of Soul” and seven-time Grammy Award-winner Gladys Knight; Broadway and television star Christopher Jackson; country music star and Grammy-nominee Mickey Guyton; Tony Award-winning Broadway and television star Ali Stroker; acclaimed ACM New Male Artist of the Year Award-winning, multi-platinum country music singer-songwriter Jimmie Allen; Tony Award-nominated Broadway star Laura Osnes; and the National Symphony Orchestra under the direction of top pops conductor Jack Everly. World-renowned four-time Grammy Award-winning soprano superstar Renée Fleming will open the show with a special performance of the national anthem. Additional talent announcements will be coming soon.
The National Symphony Orchestra will perform John Williams’ inspiring composition “Olympic Fanfare” in tribute to Team USA, honoring the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Teams as they prepare for the Olympic Games in Tokyo.
The concert will honor men and women of our military and their families for their contributions to our nation and their dedication to service, which exemplifies the American ideals we celebrate on the Fourth of July.
The 41st annual broadcast of A CAPITOL FOURTH airs on PBS Sunday, July 4, 2021 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 www.pbs.org/a-capitol-fourth and available as Video on Demand for a limited time only, July 4 to July 18, 2021.
The top-rated, award-winning program available on television, radio and digital media will feature a rousing rendition of Tchaikovsky’s “1812 Overture” with the National Symphony Orchestra and The Joint Armed Forces Chorus to accompany the fireworks, an audience favorite and A CAPITOL FOURTH tradition.
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 provided by the Military District of Washington, D.C.