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[07/01/11 - 11:40 AM]
Country Music Superstar Martina McBride to Replace Lionel Richie as Musical Guest on the "Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular," Live Monday, July 4 on CBS
Richie, who has been completing his upcoming album as well as performing back-to-back concerts, is suffering from strained vocal cords and is unable to perform.

[via press release from CBS]

COUNTRY MUSIC SUPERSTAR MARTINA McBRIDE TO REPLACE LIONEL RICHIE AS MUSICAL GUEST ON THE "BOSTON POPS FIREWORKS SPECTACULAR," LIVE MONDAY, JULY 4 ON THE CBS TELEVISION NETWORK

Richie Forced to Cancel with Strained Vocal Cords

Country music superstar Martina McBride will now perform in place of previously announced Lionel Richie as the featured musical guest on the BOSTON POPS FIREWORKS SPECTACULAR, an entertainment special to be broadcast live from the Charles River Esplanade in Boston, Monday, July 4 (10:00-11:00 PM, live ET/delayed PT) on the CBS Television Network. As previously announced, Emmy Award-winning actor and Boston-area native Michael Chiklis ("The Shield") will host the special.

Richie, who has been completing his upcoming album as well as performing back-to-back concerts, is suffering from strained vocal cords and is unable to perform. "I am extremely disappointed to cancel my performance with the Boston Pops but must follow my doctor's orders," said Richie. "It was such an honor being asked to celebrate the Fourth of July with this legendary orchestra and I hope to perform with them in the future."

"We will miss Lionel and hope he recovers quickly and completely," said Jack Sussman, Executive Vice President, Specials, Music and Live Events for CBS Entertainment. "Having a superstar like Martina step in at the last minute is a dream come true. She is one of the greatest voices of this or any generation, and she is now my hero."

McBride will perform some of her biggest hits with the Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra under the direction of conductor Keith Lockhart.

"One of my most favorite things in the world is to perform with a live orchestra, and to sing with the prestigious Boston Pops on Independence Day in front of thousands of people and on national television is not only an amazing opportunity but a career highlight for me," said McBride. "I wish Mr. Richie a speedy recovery and am looking forward to what will be a memorable day for me."

A three-time Academy of Country Music "Top Female Vocalist" award winner, four-time Country Music Association "Female Vocalist of the Year" and GRAMMY´┐Ż-winning recording artist, McBride has sold more than 18 million albums throughout her career, with 24 Top 10 singles, including six that hit #1. McBride is also a dedicated humanitarian, lending her name, music and time to many domestic violence and child abuse organizations, including ChildHelp USA, Prevent Child Abuse America, YWCA of Middle Tennessee, National Network to End Domestic Violence, National Domestic Violence Hotline and the National Teen Dating Abuse Hotline. McBride will release her debut album on Big Machine Label Group's Republic Nashville imprint on October 18. She has co-written seven tracks for her new album, including the lead single, "Teenage Daughters."

The BOSTON POPS FIREWORKS SPECTACULAR, now in its 38th year, is the orchestra's annual free outdoor Fourth of July concert and is sponsored by Liberty Mutual Group, one of America's leading insurers, offering auto, home and life insurance for individuals and families, as well as a variety of insurance products and services for businesses. The entire concert will be broadcast in HD (high definition), courtesy of Liberty Mutual Group. In addition, the final 20 minutes of the broadcast, featuring the spectacular fireworks display, will be presented commercial-free by Liberty Mutual Group.

RATING: To Be Announced





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