Fourth of July performers: from the Killers to Patti LaBelle to Willie Nelson, where to watch on TV and online

The annual “Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks Spectacular” will have a slightly different look this year – all week, surprise displays will take place across New York’s five boroughs – but the expected finale will air as usual as a two-hour live telecast on NBC.

Starting at 8 p.m. ET July 4, Jane Lynch and Craig Melvin will co-host the event, which will launch with an appearance by National Youth Poet Laureate Amanda Gorman. Musical performances will follow from The Black Eyed Peas, the Killers, Lady A, John Legend, Tim McGraw and Brad Paisley

An encore presentation will air at 10 p.m. on NBC. 

On PBS, the 40th anniversary of “A Capitol Fourth” will be co-hosted by John Stamos and Vanessa Williams and air at 8 p.m. ET. 

The 90-minute special will spotlight performances from across the country, including Nashville, Philadelphia, New York, Los Angeles and Washington D.C. Artists slated to appear include Patti LaBelle, John Fogerty, Renee Fleming, The Temptations, Trace Adkins, Andy Grammer, Yolanda Adams, Brantley Gilbert, Lauren Alaina, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Kelli O’Hara, Mandy Gonzalez and members of the National Symphony Orchestra.

In addition to the musical performances, Stamos will steer a tribute to first responders and frontline workers during the coronavirus pandemic. Actress/singer Chrissy Metz (“This is Us”) will honor the heroes with a rendition of “I’m Standing with You,” which was nominated for an Oscar earlier this year. 

The PBS special can also be viewed on Facebook, YouTube and www.pbs.org/a-capitol-fourth. Video-on-demand will be available through July 18.

Willie Nelson is taking his annual “4th of July Picnic” online.

Starting at 2:30 p.m. ET, fans can log in to www.luck.stream and watch interviews from Picnic’s past, as well as new, live performances from a lineup including Sheryl Crow, Ziggy Marley, Margo Price, Steve Earle, Kurt Vile, Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real, Particle Kid and, of course, Nelson, who will play from his recording facility, Pedernales Studio, near his Luck, Texas, ranch.

Tickets for digital admission are $35 in advance and $45 day-of-show and can be purchased www.williepicnic.com; a $1 donation from each ticket will go support The Luck Reunion Fund, managed by the Austin Community Foundation, which benefits five organizations, including Central Texas Foodbank.

Tickets also include access to food and beverage delivery packages from Assembly Kitchen, Austin Food and Wine Alliance grant recipients, and Sourced Craft Cocktails.

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About the Author

Melissa Ruggieri

Melissa Ruggieri

Atlanta Journal-Constitution staff writer Melissa Ruggieri covers music and entertainment news for the AJC. She remembers when MTV was awesome.  

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