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.
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.
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.