Mary J. Blige debut, Boyz II Men tribute set at July 4th concert
Mary J. Blige will headline the 2017 Wawa Welcome America’s July 4th concert in marking the 25th anniversary of the festival.
Her performance will be the first time the R&B diva has participated in the Fourth of July celebration, scheduled to take place over six days along the Benjamin Franklin Parkway in Philadelphia.
Blige has had a prolific career since her debut album, “What’s the 411,” hit airwaves in 1992. The nine-time Grammy Award winner has released eight multi-platinum albums, including “My Life,” “Share My World” and “Love & Life.” She also has earned a Golden Globe nomination for Best Original Song for “The Living Proof,” which appears in the movie “The Help,” and has five American Music Awards.
In addition, Philadelphia’s Boyz II Men will be honored during the festival. Hits like “I’ll Make Love To You,” “Motown Philly” and “End of the Road” have made Boyz II Men one of the top R&B groups of all time, having sold at least 64 million albums.
The group will be officially honored at 10 a.m. July 4 during the “Celebration of Freedom Ceremony,” where the City of Philadelphia will recognize its members achievements in music and philanthropy.
The Philly POPS Big Band will return to entertain the crowd. The group, which participated in the inaugural concert in 1993, will be joined by Mandy Gonzalez from the Tony Award-winning hit musical “Hamilton” along with Billboard top 10 jazz musician Tony DeSare.
The Wawa Welcome America festival kicks off June 29 and ends July 4 with a free concert at 7 p.m. and fireworks at 9:30 p.m.
More details about the festival will be released in the coming weeks but preliminary information is available at welcomeamerica.com.