Martina McBride to Replace Lionel Richie at Fourth of July Spectacular

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Country music sensation Martina McBride will be stepping in for Lionel Richie as the featured musical guest at the Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular. The 4th of July entertainment special will be hosted by Boston-area native Michael Chiklis of “The Shield” and will be broadcast live from the Charles River Esplanade in Boston.

It was previously announced that Richie would headline the event, but has been forced to back out due to strained vocal cords from work on his upcoming album and recent concerts. “I am extremely disappointed to cancel my performance with the Boston Pops…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” Richie said.

Jack Sussman, Executive Vice President, Specials, Music and Live Events for CBS Entertainment said, “We will miss Lionel and hope he recovers quickly and completely.” Sussman added “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, a dedicated humanitarian, will be performing some of her biggest hits with the orchestra and says it's not only an amazing opportunity, but a career highlight for her. She adds, "I wish Mr. Richie a speedy recovery and am looking forward to what will be a memorable day for me."

Now in its 38th year, The Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular is the orchestra’s annual free outdoor 4th of July concert. The final 20 minutes of the broadcast will be a fireworks display, presented commercial free courtesy of the event sponsor, Liberty Mutual Group. The Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular airs this Monday from 10:00 – 11:00 pm ET on CBS.