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CNN Live Event/Special

The Fourth In America. Aired 7-8p ET

Aired July 04, 2024 - 19:00   ET




ANNOUNCER: Across the USA, the nation's most iconic landmarks are about to light up in a dazzling celebration of America and 248 years of independence.

Tonight, the largest firework show on television with star-spangled displays in cities from coast-to-coast, and amazing music to get the party going, including these talented performers, Kesha, Keith Urban, Bebe Rexha, T-Pain, The Killers, Ashanti, Goo Goo Dolls, Kane Brown, REO Speedwagon, Bleachers, Gavin DeGraw, Chris Young, En Vogue, The Kid Laroi, Boys Like Girls, Reyna Roberts, Ben Platt, Yellowcard and the United States Air Force Band.


Now, a CNN special event, THE FOURTH IN AMERICA.


DANA BASH, CNN HOST: Welcome to the nation's capital. Right now, crowds are gathering on the national mall and across the city for one of the most exciting Independence Day parties in the country.

You're listening to this stirring sounds of the United Air Force Band, kicking off our July 4th celebration live on CNN.


BASH: Very soon, we will see the Lincoln Memorial and other monuments light up as one of the biggest fireworks extravaganzas of the night gets underway.

What a thrill it is to be here in Washington, D.C. on America's birthday. Happy 4th of July, everyone. I'm Dana Bash, along with my friend, Boris Sanchez.

Here we are together again, sharing this wonderful holiday with you, with our viewers, bringing you extraordinary entertainment all evening.

BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN HOST: It is going to be an exciting night, Dana. We are pumped up and ready to go 248 years in the making. We're going to have a spectacular view of the fireworks here in Washington, U.S. Capitol, and the Air Force Band right behind us.

It's such a pleasure to be with you on the second time that we get to do this on July 4. We want to check out the skyline of view in New York City. Its going to be a glow with fireworks when darkness files, millions of spectators going to be watching along the Hudson River. We are anticipating in the shadow of the Statue of Liberty, some 30 different colors of fireworks bursting over the Manhattan skyline tonight.

But, of course, there is more. We're going to bring you fireworks from one of the most spectacular locations you can imagine more than a dozen locations from coast-to-coast, including this one, Niagara Falls, another epic backdrop. That's going to be a wash in red, white, and blue.

Dana, CNN's FOURTH IN AMERICA is getting bigger each and every year.

BASH: Yeah. Our team keeps outdoing itself, Boris.

I still can't wait to see it all, including the celebration in Nashville where the party is getting started. There will be fireworks in Music City, plus a performance by country music singer and songwriter Chris Young.

And we are also heading to the beach in Fort Lauderdale for a performance by the legendary En Vogue. Love En Vogue, on one of the -- there -- one of the top selling female music groups in the U.S. history.

And, Boris, that's just a little taste of the music that we are going to see and hear tonight along, of course, with all that fantastic fire works.

SANCHEZ: Absolutely.

And our friends, too, let's take up the scene on the National Mall, as celebrations get underway.

My good friend, Brianna Keilar, my co-anchor, is there on the National Mall.

Brianna, what's the spirit like where you are?


Well, everyone is streaming on to the mall for the best seats. But I have to tell you, you never really know what you're going to get in Washington. And this fireworks display will be no different because quite frankly, we are between thunderstorms. However, we are optimistic, these folks lending a little time to us.

Are you guys optimistic that were going to have a good show?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Absolutely. KEILAR: Will the weather be a problem?



KEILAR: No. Yes. We had one, yes. A lot of nos there. You hear it.

But this is truly going to be amazing because you're going to see fireworks shot off from both sides of the reflecting well by the Lincoln Memorial. It's going to be illuminating all of the museums and the monuments here on the National Mall.

And the National Park Service shoots these shells up to 2,000 feet. So, we are willing Mother Nature to cooperate and we're feeling pretty good about it, Boris and Dana.

SANCHEZ: Yeah, we're hoping that Mother Nature gives us a nice, bright Fourth of July evening. Not so thrilled about that guy saying that it wasn't going to be a good night, pessimistic, too pessimistic for our taste.

BASH: We're only here for the optimism tonight.

SANCHEZ: Yeah, yeah.

BASH: Now to New York City where CNN's Harry Enten is 100 stories above the city, at the sky deck called The Edge.


Harry, as I said to you -- first of all, wow, look how dapper you are, I think you should wear this vest with that jacket next time, but better you than me at that height my friend.

HARRY ENTEN, CNN SENIOR DATA REPORTER: Oh, absolutely. Let me tell you --

BASH: Take it away, Harry.

ENTEN: -- you guys, if you're not excited, you are going to be absolutely thrilled with what were going to put on this evening, a firework spectacular for the ages. It's finally back on the west side of Manhattan, over the Hudson River, over my left shoulder over there. There is nothing better than celebrating this country by lighting a bunch of fireworks up into the air. It's not necessarily the oldest firework show, but in a couple of hours. It's definitely going to be the best firework show.

I love this country, and we're going to show everyone around the world how much we love it by lighting some stuff up. Now, here's the thing that I will note, however, I have one of the best views, but I am also very much afraid of heights. You mentioned 100 stories.

I'm going to take a little bit of a walk over here, take a little bit and say, okay, we are very up and I have some statistics to sort of illustrate how high up we are. Although I am a tall man, at six-foot- two, you can line up nearly 200 of me and you can fact then finally hit the ground. We're talking over 2,000 hot dogs to finally hit the ground.

And of course, the Statue of Liberty, which is over my left shoulder. You can have nearly four of those and you still will only then reach where I am right now. But the fact of the matter is guys, those fireworks in a few hours are going to be spectacular and I look forward to bring him to you.

SANCHEZ: Yeah, important to point out those are standard hot dogs with buns as you put it in the graphic, Harry, you can stack those up, but it still wouldn't reach Harry's level of patriotism as we saw displayed in that jacket.

We want to Randi Kaye now. She's one of the best assignments tonight. She's on the beach in Florida.

Randi, you're going to be watching En Vogue a little bit later. What's going on in Fort Lauderdale?

RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Everything is going on in Fort Lauderdale.

Hello, Boris and Dana, and Happy July 4th.

We are getting into the spirit here. You can see we have just folks are already dancing. En Vogue will take the stage here shortly, but they are getting into the spirit. They had been on the beach all day writing it out here in Florida.

Say hello, everybody, they're now taking their seats, but they are going to be on their pizza and for this amazing group, they have more than -- they have sold more than 20 million albums. They are onshore right now and there were making a stop year to perform this awesome audience, and then after that, they're going to be fireworks.

There's going to be coming from the ocean. It's going to be such up by night here. So we hope you'll stay with us.

Back to you, guys.

SANCHEZ: One hundred percent. It looked like that guy was ready to dance with Randi. I'm not sure, we should find him see some of his moves.

BASH: I mean, I think we saw them. They're not bad.

Now, let's bring in the music. Here is global superstar singer and songwriter Bebe Rexha.

SANCHEZ: Yeah, she's going to be performing for us at BottleRock, Napa Valley from the JaM Cellars Stage. Let's listen.




SANCHEZ: That was global superstar Bebe Rexha. Her heard newest single, "I'm the Drama" is out now.

BASH : I love her so much. That was absolutely amazing.

And guess what? We're just getting warmed up on this FOURTH IN AMERICA and keeping our eyes on the skies right here in Washington and in New York City as we get closer to the first fireworks of the night.

Up next, music by the rapper The Kid Laroi, and later, Gavin DeGraw performs one of his best-known songs "I Don't Want To Be" with the U.S. Air Force Band.

Stay with us.



SANCHEZ: The White House, and other iconic buildings here in the nation's capital will soon be the backdrop for a star spangled extravaganza. CNN is the place to see July 4 fireworks from coast to coast all night long.

BASH: And don't forget, the terrific music, including a performance on the beach front in Fort Lauderdale by the iconic R&B group En Vogue.

Right now, let's go back to BottleRock, Napa Valley, where The Kid Laroi is performing from the Verizon Stage.



BASH: That was The Kid Laroi. His new single "Girls" is out now.

I'm sorry, I'm wearing a blue start top. I just want you to know that I have white and there is red happening, right at my feet, there you go. There you go, America.

SANCHEZ: Red bottoms, we should point out, look at that. Just one of many shoe options that we have -

BASH: Obviously.

SANCHEZ: -- the evening, I hope you have a spare for me.

Coming up soon, we're going to see the New York City skyline light up.

Stay with us for the biggest and best fireworks displays across the nation.

Plus, high-octane performances by Ashanti and by Kesha as CNN's FOURTH IN AMERICA continues.



BASH: Look at the pictures right there, Lady Liberty herself. What a beautiful shot. It just -- all the fields, Boris.


BASH: And we are treating our viewers to beautiful vistas like that, but when it gets dark, of course, fireworks, not just one fireworks display tonight, but more than a dozen, including the show that will dazzle that skyline that you're looking at right there, New York City.

SANCHEZ: And here in Washington, D.C., the National Mall is one of the best places to see the city's glorious five there are works that are getting ready to get underway soon. You see the huge crowds gathered in front of the Lincoln Memorial.

All of you right now were going to have a front row seat at home, as well and we're about to start one of the performances that I've been looking forward to all night, Grammy award-winning singer songwriter Ashanti is performing in Kansas City, Kansas presented by Social House Entertainment. Let's watch.



SANCHEZ: Flashbacks to so many high school dances. That was an incredible performance from the mom to be Ashanti. Be sure to watch her starring in the upcoming film, "No Address". That's out this fall.

You did not see Dana Bash dancing. I wish we had taken the live shot of Dana breaking down during that time.

BASH: Maybe next time. I love everything about her and that performance.


BASH: Okay. Nashville is getting ready to let freedom sing with music and fireworks on this Independence Day. We're going to go live to Nashville.

Also ahead, the pop rock band Boys Like Girls.

And, later, country music from Kane Brown.

The hits keep coming right here on CNN, what a night. We're going to take a quick break. Don't go anywhere.


[19:44:10] BASH: Welcome back.

New Orleans, look -- wow, look at that. That's incredible. The river boat -- red, white, and blue, the beautiful colors of this country. Not to mention, of course, the colors we're seeing everywhere on this Fourth of July.

There she is again.


BASH: I can't get enough of her beautiful Lady Liberty.

SANCHEZ: An iconic image, of course, on the Fourth of July.

And as the sun goes down, we're going to see the fireworks light up the evening.

CNN is also on the scene in Nashville for a holiday celebration with a country beat.

Welcome back to THE FOURTH IN AMERICA on CNN.

Let's actually go to Nashville now with CNN's resident American badass, John Berman. You have to see what John Berman is wearing.

And, Sean, I mean, look at that, just appreciate that for a moment.


BASH: John Berman, this is what America needed. America just didn't know it, until America got it.


JOHN BERMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Just a little something through together.

Welcome here to Music City for the Let Freedom Sing, Fourth of July celebration, 40,000 pounds of fireworks, 400 drones, 2 million pixels. I don't even know what that means, but it sounds awesome.

But more than that, fantastic music. I'm up here on top of the rooftop for the Nashville Underground, one of the best rooftops in the city with Mitchell Tenpenny, recording star here with me. He co-wrote the song "At the End of the Bar" that Chris Young is going to sing later tonight.


BERMAN: First of all, how do I love you?

TENPENNY: You look amazing, man. You look perfect. You fit in, go America, looking great.

BERMAN: So talk to me at the end of bar, what can you find at the end of the bar?

TENPENNY: Oh, man. I mean, pretty much anything. If you look down here on Broadway, we got a little bit of everything which is great but I -- you know, that's for me and Chris actually met was the end of a bar, kind of how the whole song came about.

So, honestly, I found my wife at the end of a bar down on one of my really good buddies.

BERMAN: As they say in the song, you can find a million things at the end of the bar.

TENPENNY: Absolutely. Come on down, Broadway, figured out.

BERMAN: Now, one of the great things about fantasy is whiskey, right?

TENPENNY: Oh, yeah.

BERMAN: Jack Daniel's, sour mesh whiskey just up the road. We got ET here from Jack Daniel's. "More Than Whiskey Does", another great Mitchell Tenpenny song here.

What do we got here, ET?

ERIC "ET" TECOSKY, JACK DANIEL'S U.S. BRAND AMBASSADOR: Thanks for having me. So, we've got some great whiskey. We've got old Number Seven, which is Sinatra's whiskey. A lot of musicians always reached a bottle of Jack Daniel's.


TECOSKY: This one came out 2022. It's our bonded whiskey, won Whiskey of the Year in 2022.

And then this came out last year. Its our new rye, which won Rye of the Year last year. And I know you're a rye guy.

BERMAN: Let's do it.

Mitchell, let's do a give me a line for "More Than a Whiskey Does".

TENPENNY: I had a lot of this, let's try some new. This one --

BERMAN: Give me a line from "More Than Whiskey Does", a PG line from "More Than Whiskey Does".

TENPENNY: You mess me up more than whiskey does. There you go. Cheers.

BERMAN: All right. Mitchell Tenpenny, ET, thank you all very much.

Mitchell, as we're zipping this -- oh, that's good -- and this is journalism.

TENPENNY: That's great. Absolutely.

BERMAN: That's journalism. All right. Have a great night here. Happy 4th of July from Nashville.

Mitchell, ET, thank you all so much.

Dana, Boris?

BASH: How did he get the Jack Daniel's assignment?

SANCHEZ: That's -- yeah.

BASH: What happened?

SANCHEZ: That's a lucky assignment.

BASH: We're going to have to talk to you.

SANCHEZ: He's dressed for it, though.

BASH: Well done, well done, John Berman.

BERMAN: Journalism.

BASH: Nothing better, nothing more than that. Thank you so much.

We want to go to Brianna Keilar, who is on the National Mall here in Washington, where this holiday has added meaning for some military families -- Brie.

KEILAR: Yeah, guys, it does. And here in Washington, military families are being honored across the city from the Washington Nationals baseball game today to the reception at the White House that is taking place this evening.

And I'm joined here by two military spouses Brenna and Kim, an Army spouse and an Air Force spouse.

And you moved how many times with the military?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Five to seven, I lost count.

KEILAR: You've lost count.

And you?


KEILAR: Okay. That's a lot.

And I know you celebrated July 4th overseas. So how does that compare to being here?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's nothing like being at this iconic location. It's more community-building. They opened up the gates. So we are overseas in both South Korea and Japan, and they let all the local community on and we really get to show them what this iconic American tradition is like. KEILAR: Which is very amazing, but very different.

And military fam -- I mean, military service is a family business and military families are really the unsung heroes of support and accommodation that make the armed forces work. What do you want people to know about what its like to be part of a military family?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I mean, military families are on every block, we're in every neighborhood, whether we are active duty, Army, Air Force, or if it's National Guard or Reserves, you probably know a military family. And we do a lot of work quietly and we don't always know how to ask for help but, you know, we reach out when we can and we love our local community it is even if were only in them for a short time.

We often get attached, very attached, and we love making new friends and being a part of a new community.

KEILAR: Yeah. And we all need to mix it up a little bit.

And you heard, Boris and Dana, how many times these families have moved. It is moving season for those military families about one-third of them who are on the move. I'm wearing the Blue Star families welcome week bracelet to signify, hey, I'm an ally to those military families that are on the move. They're in your for community, too, guys.

BASH: Yeah, you sure are. Thank you so much for bringing that important, important interview to us.

We're going to go now to Kansas City, bay's best, Boys Like Girls.



BASH: Now let's go to our colleague, Victor Blackwell, who is joining us from San Diego.

Victor, you're getting ready there for a really big fireworks show. You're also investigating the best towns to visit in America. That sounds like a pretty good assignment.

VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes. Just like John Berman's whiskey, this too is journalism traveling around the country.

Listen, people are traveling across the country 71 million people on the road for Fourth of July, I've been traveling, too, checking out CNN's list of America's best towns to visit. We've been counting down ten to nine. And tonight, number one, Richmond, Virginia, a city that is redefining and redesigning itself.

Now that they've taken down those public confederate monuments, there is a burgeoning public street, art movement there in Richmond.

[19:55:00] I also went to Jackson Ward, the Harlem of the South.

Here's a map we have of the top 10 cities to visit across the country. So as you're traveling for the rest of the summer travel season, check out some of these cities as well. The QR code is on your screen -- Boris.

SANCHEZ: Victor Blackwell live for us in San Diego.

We'll see more of Victor later tonight. So stay tuned for that.

We're also getting closer so the fireworks right here in Washington, D.C.

And ahead, Gavin DeGraw performing live with the U.S. Air Force Band.

And later, of course, the one and only Kesha.

We'll be right back in just a moment.


BASH: What a glorious view of New York City. And it will get more spectacular very soon when the sun sets and the fireworks shoot 1,000 feet into the night sky.

We're also waiting the launch of fireworks --