Neil Diamond, Barry Manilow Lead 'Capitol Fourth' Celebrations in DC

Thousands of Americans flocked to the National Mall to celebrate the Fourth of July with a fireworks display, performances by Neil Diamond and Barry Manilow and selections from the "Lincoln" score played by the National Symphony Orchestra.

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Diamond sang "Sweet Caroline" in tribute to victims and survivors of the Boston Marathon bombing, while composer John Williams conducted portions of his "Lincoln" score following a video introduction from the movie's director, Steven Spielberg.

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Manilow closed out the annual "Capitol Fourth" concert Thursday night with "Let Freedom Ring" before the crowd streamed away from the Capitol's west lawn to see the fireworks at the other end of the Mall. Covered in scaffolding for repairs following an earthquake nearly two years ago, the Washington Monument provided the backdrop for the 17-minute display.

Meanwhile, Usher brought some bang to Macy’s annual fireworks bonanza in New York City.

Organizers called on the soul singer to provide the soundtrack to the show, marking the first-ever collaboration with an outside artist on the fireworks display.

Macy’s and the producers of the spectacle worked with Usher to create new pyrotechnic effects, which included a beating heart.