2:14pm PT by Sophie Schillaci
July 4th Boston Special Recruits Martina McBride As Lionel Richie Replacement
Country music superstar Martina McBride has been tapped to replace Lionel Richie for the July 4th Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular, which will be broadcast live from the Charles River Esplanade on CBS.
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Richie was forced to step down from his scheduled performance due to strained vocal chords. "I am extremely disappointed to cancel my performance with the Boston Pops but must follow my doctor's orders," he said in a statement. "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."
Stepping in at the last minute is Grammy Award winning McBride, who will perform some of her biggest hits with the orchestra.
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"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," McBride said. "I wish Mr. Richie a speedy recovery and am looking forward to what will be a memorable day for me."
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Emmy Award-winning actor and Boston native Michael Chiklis will serve as host at the 38th annual event. The last hour of the free show will air live on CBS between 10 and 11 p.m. on the East Coast, with a delayed Pacific Coast broadcast.