“American Ninja Warrior’s” Matt Iseman and Akbar Gbajabiamila Return to Host the Two-Hour Live Telecast (8-10 p.m. ET/PT)
NEW YORK — June 12, 2018 — NBC’s annual “Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks® Spectacular” celebrates Independence Day with some of the biggest names in music. Making it the can’t-miss event of the summer, Kelly Clarkson, Ricky Martin, Blake Shelton, Keith Urban and more will take the stage before the incredible firework display that the show is known for.
NBC’s Emmy Award-nominated “American Ninja Warrior’s” Matt Iseman and Akbar Gbajabiamila return for the second year as hosts of the broadcast, which airs Wednesday, July 4 (8-10 p.m. ET/PT) with an hour-long encore presentation at 10 p.m.
The 42nd annual Macy’s 4th of July firework display over the East River will feature an incredible pyrotechnic spectacle, igniting the skyline with more than 75,000 shells, making it Macy’s largest firework display since the Millennial Celebration in 2000. The incredible show will be accompanied by the West Point Band and Glee Club and their beautiful renditions of patriotic classics such as “Stars & Stripes Forever” and “The Star Spangled Banner.” In celebration of the 100th anniversary of “God Bless America,” the special will also feature an all-new recording of the patriotic classic by Kelly Clarkson with the West Point Band and Glee Club as the backdrop to the show’s famed Golden Mile, an array of golden-hued effects for a mile across the river.
The “Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks® Spectacular” telecast is a production of Universal Television in association with Macy’s. It is produced by Brad Lachman Productions with Lachman serving as executive producer. Bill Bracken is a co-executive producer.
Lachman’s credits include a variety of NBC specials, including the “Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade,” “Christmas in Rockefeller Center” and “NBC’s 90th Anniversary Special,” in addition to “Michael Bublé’s Christmas Special” for five holiday seasons.
ABOUT KELLY CLARKSON
Grammy Award winner Kelly Clarkson recently released her eagerly anticipated eighth studio album “Meaning of Life,” which features the Grammy-nominated single “Love So Soft.” Her first release with Atlantic Records, “Meaning of Life” is the album Clarkson was destined to make, a collection of smart and sensual soul-inspired pop that immediately belongs among the legendary label's classic canon. The Texas-born, Nashville-based singer-songwriter first came to fame in 2002 as the winner of “American Idol's” inaugural season, and has grown to be one the most popular artists of this or any other era, with over 100 #1 Billboard singles and total worldwide sales of more than 25 million albums and 36 million singles. Clarkson has released eight studio albums (“Thankful,” “Breakaway,” “My December,” “All I Ever Wanted,” “Stronger,” “Wrapped in Red,” “Piece By Piece” and “Meaning of Life”), one greatest hits album, and two children's books (New York Times Top 10 bestseller “River Rose and the Magical Lullaby” and the recent follow-up, “River Rose and the Magical Christmas”). She is the recipient of three Grammys, four American Music Awards, three MTV Video Music Awards, two Academy of Country Music Awards, two American Country Awards, and one Country Music Association Award. Clarkson appeared as a first-time coach on Season 14 of “The Voice” and saw her artist Brynn Cartelli become the youngest champion to date.
ABOUT RICKY MARTIN
Both a Grammy and multiple Latin Grammy winner, Ricky Martin is the leading Latin music figure of his generation. Martin has sold more than 70 million albums worldwide, 95 platinum records and 40 gold records. He has received numerous international awards, including the prestigious Person of the Year recognition from the Latin Recording Academy, a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, MTV Asia Awards, the MTV European Music Award, a World Music Award, an American Music Award, and multiple Premio Lo Nuestro, Latin Billboard, Premios Alma and GLAAD Awards. Martin set off on his own musical path with the 1991 release of his self-titled debut solo album, and it did not take long before acting appearances on television as well as a Broadway run in “Les Miserables.” In 1998, Martin returned with his fourth album, “Vuelve,” and was catapulted to the forefront of international world pop music as the single "La Copa de la Vida" (“The Cup of Life”) became the theme for the 1998 World Cup in France. In fall 2010, Martin made his debut on the New York Times bestseller list with the release of his autobiography, “Me.” In 2012, he appeared as a guest star on the musical series “Glee” and as a coach on "The Voice Australia.” Martin also starred as Antonio D’Amico on “The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story.” Martin recently completed a two year residency, “ALL IN,” at the Park Theater at Monte Carlo Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.
ABOUT BLAKE SHELTON
As an original coach on “The Voice,” Blake Shelton recently wrapped his 14th season with the incredible accomplishment of being the coach for six champions over the course of the series, including season 13 winner Chloe Kohanski. A five-time CMA Male Vocalist of the Year winner, Shelton is Billboard’s Most Played Country Artist of 2017. He’s also the current People’s Choice Award winner for Favorite Male Country Artist, and the first country artist ever to win the all-genre Favorite Album category. His most recent album, “Texoma Shore,” was his sixth record to debut at #1 on the Billboard Top Country Albums chart and marked his 11th all-genre Top 10. “I’ll Name the Dogs,” the first single from the album, became Shelton’s 25th #1 single, a streak that began in 2001 with “Austin,” from his debut album. A member of the Grand Ole Opry, Shelton has teamed up with Ryman Hospitality to open a string of Ole Red entertainment restaurant venues, a nod to his 2001 hit of the same name. Shelton was born, raised and lives in Oklahoma, where he has strong community ties. In response to the devastating tornadoes of 2013, Shelton and NBC teamed up on the telethon “Healing in the Heartland: Relief Benefit Concert.” With the help of Reba, Usher, Rascal Flatts, Vince Gill and Ryan Tedder of OneRepublic and others, the telethon raised more than $6 million for United Way of Central Oklahoma. He recently donated $500,000 to the Jimmy Everest Center, an Oklahoma University hospital for children with blood cancer and blood disorders.
ABOUT KEITH URBAN
“Graffiti U,” the new album from Grammy Award winner Keith Urban, was released earlier this year in conjunction with his “Graffiti U World Tour 2018,” which will debut in St. Louis on June 15. The album, which upon its debut on April 27, hit #1 on charts in the United States, Canada and Australia, is Urban’s ninth and follows one of the most successful releases of his career, 2016’s “Ripcord.” “Coming Home,” featuring Julia Michaels, the first single since the release of “Graffiti U,” follows “Ripcord’s” five #1’s, including his 23rd career #1 with the “The Fighter.” He’s had an album atop the all-genre charts in the U.S., Canada and Australia twice and is the only male country artist to have achieved the mark even once. He now stands at #8 on Billboard’s All-Time Country Airplay Chart as the artist with the most consecutive top 10 songs on Billboard’s Country Airplay Chart (38) – a streak that started in August 2000. Besides four Grammys, Urban has won 12 Country Music Association Awards, 11 Academy of Country Music Awards, four People’s Choice Awards and four American Music Awards. He is also a member of the Grand Ole Opry. He’s long supported numerous charities, including the CMA Foundation, for which he is the first Ambassador, the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum©, St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital, for which he is an advisory board member, the Mr. Holland’s Opus Fund and the Grammy Foundation.
ABOUT MATT ISEMAN
Matt Iseman is an Emmy Award-winning host and stand-up comedian who has become one of the most in-demand television personalities in the entertainment industry today. In addition to hosting “Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks® Spectacular” for the second year, Iseman is currently the host of NBC’s hit reality competition and Emmy-nominated show “American Ninja Warrior, which is in its 10th season, as well as the host of the show’s spinoff, USA Network’s “American Ninja Warrior: Ninja vs Ninja.”’ In 2017, Iseman won season eight of NBC’s “The New Celebrity Apprentice,” with host Arnold Schwarzenegger, where he raised money for the Arthritis Foundation. Other television credits include being a regular cast member on Style Network’s home makeover shows “Clean House” and “Clean House Comes Clean,” for which he won an Emmy, and being the main medical correspondent for the Hallmark Channel’s “Home & Family.” As a stand-up comic, Iseman has recurred on “Comics Unleashed” and is a regular on the L.A. comedy club circuit. He has also traveled to Afghanistan to perform for U.S. troops. Additionally, Iseman made his film debut in “Transformers 2.” Iseman currently resides in Los Angeles.
ABOUT AKBAR GBAJABIAMILA
Akbar Gbajabiamila is host of NBC’s two-time Emmy-nominated heart-racing obstacle course competition series “American Ninja Warrior,” USA Network’s “American Ninja Warrior: Ninja vs Ninja” and Universal Kid’s “American Ninja Warrior Junior.” He also hosts NFL Network’s highest-rated show, “NFL Fantasy Live.” The Southern California native has parlayed a five-year stint in the NFL into a career in TV as a host and actor. Gbajabiamila is one of seven children of Nigerian immigrants. Undrafted by the Oakland Raiders, Gbajabiamila played five years in the NFL. After retiring in 2008, Gbajabiamila turned his focus to television. In 2017, Gbajabiamila made his acting debut on NBC’s “The Night Shift.” Other notable hosting appearances include NBC’s “Red Nose Day” and “Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks® Spectacular.”
For more information and images from the show please visit the NBC Universal Media Village website at http://www.nbcumv.com