July 4, 2023
For 43 years, PBS has broadcast an Independence Day celebration from the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., featuring fireworks and performances by bands, artists, and Broadway stars. Meet the performers of this year's A Capitol Fourth, which airs on WTTW Tuesday, July 4 at 7:00 pm, with a repeat immediately following at 8:32 pm. It will also be available to stream for a limited time on the PBS Video App.
Ribeiro is best-known as Will Smith's cousin Carlton Banks on the classic 1990s sitcom The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, but he has also done his share of hosting TV shows like America's Funniest Home Videos and Dancing with the Stars (which he also won), so he's certainly prepared to host A Capitol Fourth.
Does the band named after WTTW's home city (and originally its transit agency) need any introduction? The long-lasting band is a top-selling artist that has also garnered plenty of accolades, from a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award to induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. While the band has changed line-ups over the years, founding members Robert Lamm, Lee Loughnane, and James Pankow are all still involved.
Boyz II Men
Boyz II Men is another group that has achieved some of the longest-lasting hits on the charts, following only Drake, The Beatles, Rihanna, Elvis Presley, and Mariah Carey (with whom they have collaborated) in terms of time spent at number one. Originally a quartet, the soulful vocal group now performs as a trio of founding members.
Carlisle is not only a founder and the lead vocalist of The Go-Gos, she has also had a successful solo career with hits like "Heaven is a Place on Earth" and "Leave a Light on."
Babyface is a performer in his own right, but he has made his biggest impact as a producer of some of the R&B artists in the '80s and '90s: Toni Braxton, TLC, Usher. He has won twelve Grammy Awards.
Maddie & Tae
This country duo is much newer than all the previously mentioned, long-running artists: they released their debut album in 2015, and have released two more since.
The actor and musician first gained braod recognition on the improv comedy show Whose Line Is It Anyway? but has since been known for scripted acting roles in the shows Nashville (which started a musical career for him) and Outer Banks.
Ruthie Ann Miles
Broadway stars are popular additions to A Capitol Fourth, and Ruthie Ann Miles fits the bill: she won a Tony for her appearance in The King and I and was nominated for another for her current role in Sweeney Todd.
The Broadway cast of A Beautiful Noise, The Neil Diamond Musical
Not only do we get a Broadway star; we get a cast, from a Neil Diamond jukebox musical starring Will Swenson and Robyn Hurder.
Fleming also barely needs an introduction in Chicago, given the opera star and macher's association with the Lyric Opera. She leads a tribute to Americans in uniform during A Capitol Fourth.
They won't be at A Capitol Fourth in person because they're up on the International Space Station orbiting Earth, but astronauts Frank Rubio, Steve Bowen, and Woody Hoburg will share a message from space. Rubio has been in space for almost a year, while Bowen and Hoburg went up a few months ago.
Another Broadway star, Warren has won two Tony Awards, including one for her portrayal of the late Tina Turner. She will pay tribute to Turner, who died in May.
The National Symphony Orchestra under Jack Everly
Washington, D.C.'s National Symphony Orchestra is a mainstay of A Capitol Fourth, as is pops conductor Jack Everly.