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'A Capitol Fourth' Features All-Star Cast; Jill Scott Scores Hit Album

  • Mary Morningstar

Actor Jimmy Smits rehearses for the independence day concert, "A Capitol Fourth," by the U.S. Capitol in Washington (file photo)

Actor Jimmy Smits rehearses for the independence day concert, "A Capitol Fourth," by the U.S. Capitol in Washington (file photo)

'A Capitol Fourth' Concert Features Morrison, Sparks, Groban

Actor Jimmy Smits will host “A Capitol Fourth,” which takes place on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol. Performers at the Independence Day celebration include actor and Grammy-winning musician Steve Martin with the Steep Canyon Rangers, Josh Groban, Glee’s Matthew Morrison, Jordin Sparks, Little Richard with the Million Dollar Quartet, Broadway star Kelli O’Hara, and the National Symphony Orchestra. “A Capitol Fourth” will air live on PBS television.

Scott Scores No. 1 Album

Jill Scott's "The Light of the Sun" CD

Jill Scott's "The Light of the Sun" CD

R&B singer Jill Scott scores her first Number One on this week’s Billboard 200 with her fourth album, The Light of the Sun. The 39-year-old Philadelphia, Pennsylvania native will promote the album on her 17-city “Summer Block Party” tour, which begins on July 26 in Boston, Massachusetts. Mint Condition and Anthony Hamilton will open the U.S. concerts. Hamilton is featured on “So In Love,” the Top 10 debut single from Scott’s new album.

Colon Wins 'The Voice' Singing Competition

Javier Colon, the winner of the first season of the singing competition series, "The Voice," July 1, 2011

Javier Colon, the winner of the first season of the singing competition series, "The Voice," July 1, 2011

34-year-old Javier Colon is the winner of NBC-TV’s singing competition, “The Voice.” The Connecticut native earned a $100,000 record contract after beating out runner-up Dia Frampton. Colon is the former lead singer of the Derek Trucks Band. He was signed to Capitol Records, which released his 2003 and 2006 albums, but was later dropped from the label due to low sales. Universal Republic plans to release Colon’s new album in September. On July 27, the top eight finalists of “The Voice” will kick off a U.S. tour in Los Angeles. Joining Colon and Frampton on the outing are Beverly McClellan, Xenia, Vicci Martinez, Frenchie Davis, Nakia and Casey Weston. Plans are already underway for the second season of “The Voice.” It will premiere on February 5, 2012 following Super Bowl XLVI.

Goldberg to Emcee Tibetan Association Event

Whoopi Goldberg

Whoopi Goldberg

On July 9, the Capital Area Tibetan Association will host “A Talk for World Peace” on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol. The event, featuring the Dalai Lama, is free to the public. Actress, comedian and talk show host Whoopi Goldberg will serve as emcee. Grammy-nominated singer Skylar Grey will perform a never-before-heard song as a tribute to the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan People.

New Album Releases July 5:

“Drums Between the Bells” by Brian Eno
“King of Hearts” by Lloyd

Look Who's Goin On Tour!

Styx band members

Styx band members

Classic rock bands Styx and Yes will kick off a 21-city co-headlining tour on July 5 in Holmdel, New Jersey. Yes will be supporting its upcoming album, Fly From Here, due out on July 12. The latest album by Styx, Regeneration, Volume 2, is the follow-up to the 2010 seven-song EP, Regeneration, Volume 1, which features six re-recorded classics, including “Come Sail Away,” “Fooling Yourself (The Angry Young Man)” and “The Grand Illusion.”

The 2011 American Idols Live! tour will begin on July 6 in West Valley City, Utah. The lineup features Season 10’s top 11 finalists Casey Abrams, Haley Reinhart, Jacob Lusk, James Durbin, Lauren Alaina, Naima Adedapo, Paul McDonald, Pia Toscano, Scotty McCreery, Stefano Langone and Thia Megia. Although the annual tour usually features only the top 10 finalists, Casey Abrams was added after being “saved” by the judges during the competition. The 45-tour wraps up on September 9 in Rochester, New York.

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