News Column

Ed Sheeran, Nicki Minaj, Jennifer Hudson to play Philadelphia's free Fourth of July Jam

May 7, 2014

By John J. Moser, The Morning Call (Allentown, Pa.)



May 07--A soulful singer-songwriter, a rapping R&B-pop star, an "American Idol" alum star and some hot up-and-coming acts are among the lineup for Philadelphia's free annual Fourth of July Jam concert.

Headlining the event will be Ed Sheeran, Nicki Minaj, Jennifer Hudson, Aloe Blacc, Ariana Grande, Vicci Martinez and, of course, the festival's house band, The Roots.

Billed as the largest free concert in America, Fourth of July Jam concludes Philadelphia'sWelcome America celebration on the city's Benjamin Franklin Parkway.

Welcome America starts with the city's Independence Day parade at 11 a.m., followed by a daylong party starting at noon. The concert starts at 7 p.m. and concludes with a fireworks finale at 11 p.m.

Sheeran had the United Kingdom's highest sales ever for a male solo artist debut. In the United States, his debut album, which had the hits "The A Team" and "Lego House," received three Grammy Award nominations.

The 23-year-old singer is now on a headlining U.S. tour that will stop at Philadelphia'sWells Fargo Center on Sept. 8.

Minaj's debut and sophomore albums both topped Billboard's Top 200 albums chart, and in 2010 she became the first female solo artist to have seven singles simultaneously on Billboard's Top 100 chart. Her hits include "Super Bass" and "Starships."

She since has served as a judge on the 12th season of "American Idol" and now has a role in the feature film "The Other Woman."

Hudson was a finalist on the fourth season of "American Idol" in 2004, then won an Academy Award for best Supporting Actress in the movie "Dreamgirls." She received a Grammy Award for her self-tilted debut album in 2008.

Blacc recently had the No. 1 mega-hit "Wake Me Up" with DJ Avicii. His new album "Lift Your Spirit" has the hit single "The Man."

Grande played Cat Valentine on the Nickelodeon sitcom "Victorious" and the spinoff "Sam & Cat," and made a splash in the music world when her sophomore single, "The Way" (featuring Mac Miller) hit the Billboard Top 10 and sold double-platinum.

"Problem," the lead single from her second album, reached No. 1 on iTunes just 37 minutes after its release -- a record.

Martinez was a finalist on the first season of the NBC singing competition "The Voice." Her latest single, "Otra Cancion," is now available on iTunes.

Philadelphia-based The Roots, a four-time Grammy Award winner, is the house band for "The Late Show" with Jimmy Fallon.

For more information, go to http://www.welcomeamerica.com.

john.moser@mcall.com

Twitter @johnjmoser

610-820-6722

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(c)2014 The Morning Call (Allentown, Pa.)

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Source: Morning Call (Allentown, PA)


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