Clay Aiken Celebrates The Birthday of a Nation

Can you imagine what it must be like to sing for a live audience of over a half a million people as well as millions watching on TV?  Well, this was a reality that Clay Aiken experienced on July 4, 2004.

From the west lawn of the Capitol, Clay joined a cast of some of the country’s best-known and award-winning musical artists in the PBS concert called A Capitol Fourth. Featuring patriotic classics as well as pop and country favorites, it was a night that got the audience on their feet and dancing to the beat of the fabulous music.

The concert was hosted by veteran actor and singer Barry Bostwick and, besides Clay, featured Nashville superstars Vince Gill and Amy Grant, legendary Bee Gees member Robin Gibb, and gospel legend Yolanda Adams. There was also a special 150th birthday salute to famed American composer and conductor John Philip Sousa, whose “Stars and Stripes Forever” has become a tradition on Independence Day. The soloists all joined the internationally renowned National Symphony Orchestra, directed by Erich Kunzel.

Clay started off the concert by singing The Star Spangled Banner with the symphony.  According to the reviews, it was an outstanding rendition of our national anthem.

Later in the program, Barry Bostwick, who was very glowing in his praise of Clay and his relatively short musical career, introduced Clay.  Measure of A Man was appropriately chosen as Clay’s first feature song.  He sang it with a lot of emotion and the cameras showed close-ups of our brave service men and women who were a part of the audience.  It was a very moving performance.  Clay closed his part of the program by singing God Bless The USA, a patriotic song that was strong and dynamic.

Heard live in stereo over National Public Radio, A Capitol Fourth was broadcast to U.S. military personnel in more than 135 countries by the American Forces Radio and Television Network.

A Capitol Fourth in 2004 was a birthday party to our nation and a July 4th tradition much like hot dogs, watermelon and fireworks.  It was a wonderful evening of musical entertainment that was topped off by an exciting display of fireworks over the Washington Monument.

The following videos show the Clay Aiken parts of the concert.




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  1. Happy July 4 to everyone celebrating the day!
    Clay Aiken appearance on the Capitol 4th program was the best. You could feel the emotion of the crowd from Clay’s beautiful songs all the way here to Canada.
    Certainly my favourite.

    Thank you for the wonderful article!

  2. Clay was amazing that day… I watched it on TV here in Canada!!

    HAPPY 4TH of JULY to all of you who are celebrating the day!

    thanks for the beautiful videos!!!

  3. My favourite too. I can play these 3 songs any time of the year. Hello fellow Canadians! *wave* Thank you CANN for these wonderful write ups and videos.

  4. That was a wonderful Fourth of July Concert. Clay was awesome. I was so excited to watch it.

    Hope everyone has a wonderful Fourth!!

  5. That was a wonderful day – Clay Aiken was amazing!!!

    Thanks for the article, the videos and Happy 4th of July!

  6. Wonderful blog. Enjoyed the recap of Clay’s 4th of July appearance and the videos.
    Hope everyone has a nice 4th of July!!!

  7. Clay performed so beautifully that day. I would dearly love to see him again taking the stage on July 4th. He is such a man of class, honour and incredible talent. Thank you for this memory.

  8. Just watched the Capitol Fourth this year. It was very good, but something was missing and that something was CLAY AIKEN!!

    I am going to rewatch all of the videos again from the year Clay was there. Thanks so much for including them here.

  9. The entire show was great. Clay’s performances were wonderful and I really enjoyed all the talent that year.

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