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On the night of America’s 240th birthday, and only a day before the whirlwind of tragic events that took place this week, Black stars took the stage to celebrate “A Capitol Fourth” on PBS.

The annual broadcast, hosted by Tom Bergeron, takes place on July 4th from the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C.

Hamilton’s Christopher Jackson performed a moving rendition of “Can You Feel the Love Tonight,” from Disney’s The Lion King. Jackson made his Broadway debut in the show as a soloist, and later Simba.

Amber Riley, best known for her six-season role on “Glee,” helped hype up the crowd with the lively, “I’m So Excited” by The Pointer Sisters. The season 17 “Dancing With the Stars” champion will finally take on Effie White this year in Dreamgirls on the West End.

General Colin Powell then stepped out to recognize the heroes and veterans in the audience, and tribute the USO’s 75th anniversary.

Just in time for Motown the Musical’s return to Broadway, Smokey Robinson performed a medley of hits. Gospel singer Yolanda Adams, who appeared in “The Passion Live” on FOX this year, performed “My Country, ‘Tis of Thee.” Other performers included Sutton Foster, Sara Bareilles, Kenny Loggins, the National Symphony Orchestra, and the Broadway cast of On Your Feet.

Jackson concluded the show, accompanied by the U.S. Army Ceremonial Band, with a medley of Broadway musical numbers. Add Chris Jackson as “Professor Harold Hill” to my list of dreamcasts!

Watch the full celebration below:


Video courtesy of PBS.

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