NATASHA BEDINGFIELD, KENNY CHESNEY, KATHARINE MCPHEE, AND JORDIN SPARKS KICK OFF NBC'S ANNUAL 'MACY'S 4th OF JULY FIREWORKS SPECTACULAR,' FRIDAY, JULY 4th (9-10 p.m. EST)
NBC CELEBRATES ITS PRIDE WITH MUSICAL PERFORMANCES BY CHART TOPPING NATASHA BEDINGFIELD, COUNTRY MUSIC SUPERSTAR KENNY CHESNEY, 'AMERICAN IDOL'S' RECORDING ARTIST/ACTRESS KATHARINE MCPHEE, AND POP SENSATION JORDIN SPARKS ON NBC'S ANNUAL 'MACY'S 4th OF JULY FIREWORKS SPECTACULAR,' FRIDAY, JULY 4th (9-10 p.m. EST)
Natalie Morales, NBC's "Today" National Correspondent and Tiki Barber, "Today" Correspondent and "Football Night in America" Studio Analyst Co-Host the Live Telecast
NEW YORK � June 9, 2008 - NBC celebrates the nation's 232nd birthday extravaganza with performances by chart topping Natasha Bedingfield, country music superstar Kenny Chesney, 'American Idol's' recording artist/actress Katharine McPhee, and pop sensation Jordin Sparks on the live broadcast of the "Macy's 4th of July Fireworks Spectacular." Hosted by Natalie Morales, NBC's "Today" National Correspondent and Tiki Barber, "Today" Correspondent and "Football Night in America" Studio Analyst, the show will air in high definition on Friday, July 4th, 9-10 p.m. EST (all time zones).
UK sensation Natasha Bedingfield, has blasted her way up the American pop charts. Her song "Unwritten," was the most played song on mainstream American radio in 2006, and she's back with more hits from her new album, "Pocketful of Sunshine" which she will perform on this year's fireworks extravaganza. Still taking the USA by storm, Bedingfield was nominated for "Best Female Pop Vocal Performance" at the 2007 Grammy Awards.
Country music recording artist Kenny Chesney will be performing his hit single "Never Wanted Nothing More." Chesney has produced more than thirty Top Ten singles on the U.S. Billboard Hot Country Songs charts, over thirteen of which have reached Number One. His newest album "Just Who I Am: Poets & Pirates" has already had two hit singles, "Never Wanted Nothing More" and "Don't Blink." Chesney was recently named the Academy of Country Music's "Entertainer of the Year" for the fifth consecutive year and has received the American Music Award for "Entertainer of the Year" for the past two years. Chesney is currently headlining his national tour with LeeAnn Rimes.
Katharine McPhee will be performing "Save The Last Dance For Me" during the fireworks spectacular. Best known for her success on "American Idol," McPhee was the 2006 runner-up and went on to debut her first album "Katharine McPhee" on RCA/19 Recordings which reached number 2 on the Billboard 200. Her first single "Somewhere Over the Rainbow"/"My Destiny" debuted at number 2 on Billboards Hot Singles Sales chart. McPhee is currently working on her second solo album with 15 time Grammy winner, producer/writer David Foster and will next star in "The House Bunny" which will be released by Sony Pictures on August 22nd. McPhee will soon begin production on Robert Angelo Masciantonio's "The Storyteller" opposite Wes Bentley for Feverpitch Pictures.
Performing her newest single "One Step at a Time," Jordin Sparks is the youngest 'American Idol' winner, and has gained even more recognition with her self-titled debut album, "Jordin Sparks." Sparks has already spawned two chart topping hits, "Tattoo" and "No Air," her duet with Chris Brown for which she has been nominated for the 2008 BET "Viewer's Choice Award". She recently received an NAACP Image Award in the category of "Outstanding New Artist" and has toured with Grammy winner Alicia Keys. Sparks continues to be consistent in her mission of telling meaningful stories through songs.
Macy's Fireworks, the country's largest Fourth of July fireworks extravaganza will feature more than 35,000 brilliant shells exploding over New York City. 1,100 pyrotechnic shells are fired every minute, when the first shells explode and begin their choreographed pyrotechnic dance. Dancing in the sky this year will be new shells from around the globe with fantastic moments including the highlight of the Macy's Fireworks, the famed Golden Mile, a multi-layer explosion which stretches across the skyline filling it with a golden sparks from 1,200 feet in the air to the water's edge. Always a patriotic show celebrating America's independence, its strength and history, this year's Macy's Fireworks will also pay tribute to Macy's 150th Anniversary with a special moment. The special tribute is set to help commemorate the great R.H. Macy whose legacy gave America the World's Largest Store, the nation's largest 4th of July Fireworks and the spectacular Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.
"Macy's 2008 4th of July Fireworks will kick-off a season of special events nationwide celebrating Macy's 150th Birthday. The nation's biggest fireworks show begins with a resounding musical fanfare accompanied by a dazzling pyrotechnic salute to the World's Largest Store," says Robin Hall, Macy's Fireworks Executive Producer. "America Dances, the theme and musical score, assembled by our Creative Director Bill Schermerhorn and performed by the New York Pops features a mix of American dance music and the patriotic standards that give emotional resonance to the show." He continued, "Macy's Fireworks is always rated the #1 show in America by the American Pyrotechnic Association, and we're convinced the 2008 show will be no exception."
Providing the music for the pyrotechnic dance is the show's musical score. This year's show theme America Dances, will have the fireworks twist, hop, jump and sway to patriotic standards and classic dance themed tunes from our long history. Performed by The New York Pops under the direction of Rob Fisher, the score will feature such classics as "Good Golly Miss Molly", "The Twist", "Save the Last Dance for Me", "Rock Around the Clock", and the "Tennessee Waltz". In addition, the score will also feature patriotic standards including "The Star Spangled Banner" and "God Bless America". Lending her talents to America Dances is pop music sensation Katherine McPhee, who will be the guest soloist on the sultry "Save the Last Dance for Me".
The 32nd annual "Macy's 4th of July Fireworks Spectacular" is sponsored in part by Energizer, Levi's and Planters; and is presented in partnership with The City of New York, and The Downtown Alliance for New York.
Morales, joined "Today" as a National Correspondent in February 2006. Prior to joining "Today", she was an anchor and correspondent at MSNBC since March 2002. While working for "Today" and MSNBC, she has contributed to NBC News' coverage of the 2006 Winter Olympics in Torino and the 2004 Summer Games in Athens, as well as several major breaking news stories including Hurricane Katrina and the recovery efforts; the Tsunami disaster; the death of Pope John Paul II; the Battle for White House in 2004; Operation Iraqi Freedom; and the Columbia Shuttle explosion. Hispanic Magazine named her one of the "Top Hispanics to Watch" in 2005 and one of the "Top Trendsetters" of 2003.
Barber, came to NBC in February 2007 and serves as a correspondent for NBC News' "Today" and an analyst for NBC's "Football Night in America."
Barber started his broadcasting career prior to retiring from professional football, serving as a correspondent on Fox News Channel's morning show "Fox & Friends" and hosting a radio show on Sirius Satellite Radio, "The National Sweep," which covered politics, news, sports and entertainment. Guests on the show ranged from Senator John McCain to Daniel Kurtzer, the former ambassador to both Israel and Egypt, to Pro Football Hall of Famer Lawrence Taylor.
The telecast is a production of Universal Media Studios in association with Macy's. Bob Holmes is the executive producer.