A Very Country Fourth: Little Big Town, Lady A and (Yup!) Lee Greenwood to Perform Around the U.S.
With the U.S. sharply divided between red and blue political affiliations, a raft of country artists hope to provide a little red, white and blue unity with their participation in Fourth of July activities.
Brad Paisley, Kellie Pickler and Lady Antebellum are part of national TV specials; Willie Nelson, Chris Young and Hunter Hayes participate in long-established Independence Day concert events; and Brett Young leads a handful of young country acts in an appropriate appearance at a military base.
Here's a sample of how country acts will be honoring America as it turns 241 (all events take place July 4, except where noted):
• Pickler performs "This Land Is Your Land" on the PBS special A Capitol Fourth, televised from the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. Fellow country artist Trace Adkins is also in the lineup, along with John Stamos, The Four Tops and The Blues Brothers.
• Craig Campbell's recording of "American Anthem" will be part of the light display when NBC airs Macy's Fourth of July Fireworks Spectacular from New York's East River. Previously announced performers for the night include Lady A and Paisley, who also took part in 2015.
• Nelson's Fourth of July Picnic in Austin continues a tradition that started in Dripping Springs more than 40 years ago. Among his guests for this edition are Kacey Musgraves, Jamey Johnson, Steve Earle and Margo Price.
• Chris Young, The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band and new Sony act The Sisterhood are key acts at Nashville's traditional Let Freedom Sing! concert, with the Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp claiming the city has the "largest fireworks show in the country."
• Little Big Town and Hayes are on the bill for the 37th annual Stadium of Fire show at LaVell Edwards Stadium in Provo, Utah, on July 1.
• Hayes also joins pop group DNCE at Houston's Freedom Over Texas celebration, a 30-year Lone Star tradition.
• Brett Young and pop-rock band Lifehouse are the best-known acts in the inaugural Base*Fest event, slated for Camp Lejeune, N.C. Also aboard are Chord Overstreet, Muddy Magnolias and Temecula Road, with future shows anticipated at other bases.
• Lee Greenwood is practically required to sing "God Bless the U.S.A." on Independence Day. This year, he does the honors at a minor-league baseball game in Harrisburg, Pa., where the Senators host the Akron RubberDucks. Greenwood also offers the national anthem and covers Aaron Tippin's "Where the Stars and Stripes and the Eagle Fly."