Independence Day, commonly known as the Fourth of July, is a federal holiday commemorating the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4th, 1776, declaring independence from Great Britain and tyranny.
The Declaration of Independence, which is on public display in the Rotunda of the National Archives in Washington, D.C., was primarily authored by Thomas Jefferson, however, he worked with Benjamin Franklin and John Adams to come up with the final document. The Declaration of Independence was adopted on July 4th, 1776, but the actual signing of the document took place August 2nd, 1776. Now, the Fourth of July holiday is commonly associated with fireworks displays, parades, barbecues and concerts.
Some of your favorite country stars take time to remember their Fourth of July traditions, memories and what the holiday really means to them.
Brad Paisley is set to headline “Let Freedom Sing! Music City July 4th” celebration. The downtown event in Nashville will present one of the country’s largest July 4th fireworks show, which will be synchronized to live music from the Nashville Symphony. Brad, who is headlining the show for the second time (his last appearance was in 2021), will be joined on the bill by The War And Treaty, Ben Rector, Tiera Kennedy and singer-songwriter Langhorne Slim. The event is partnering with The Store, a free referral-based grocery store founded by Brad and his wife, Kimberly Williams Paisley. One dollar from the sale of each event T-shirt will benefit The Store.
Darius Rucker has been tapped to perform on CNN’s The Fourth In America on July 4th for the 247th anniversary of the United States’ independence. Other musical performances include Alanis Morrisette, The All-American Rejects, Demi Lovato, Duran Duran, Flo Rida, Leon Bridges, Post Malone, Sheryl Crow, Smash Mouth, Zac Brown Band, The Plain White T’s, and more. The special, which will feature performances and firework shows from around the country (including Nashville, New Orleans, Boston, Chicago, Houston, New York City and more), will air live from 7pm ET to 1am ET on CNN.
Maddie & Tae will celebrate Independence Day by performing “This Land Is Your Land” as part of the PBS TV special, A Capitol Fourth. Boyz II Men, Belinda Carlisle, Chicago, Babyface, Renee Fleming, Charles Esten and the Broadway cast of A Beautiful Noise: The Neil Diamond Musical, among others, will also perform. The live broadcast will air beginning at 8pm ET/7pm CT on Tuesday (July 4th) on PBS.
We're thrilled to share the all-star lineup for A Capitol Fourth! Don't miss the live broadcast on PBS at 8/7c, Tuesday, July 4th.
— A Capitol Fourth (@July4thPBS) June 25, 2023
Alan Jackson (fave 4th of July memory) OC: …very cool. :58
Well, this one is hard to beat. A couple of years ago, maybe longer than that now, I had an old boat in Florida. It’s like an old antique motor yacht, and it was kind of a cool old boat. I had taken that boat, I’ve always wanted to take it up north like to New York and up in that area, up in the northeast where it’s so pretty. So, we took the boat up there and Denise and the girls, we all went up. They like going to New York City, which I don’t really care about going to the city. So, I got to stay in my boat there at the harbor tied up, which was cool anyway. So they spent time in the city a few days and then that was Fourth of July, and we went out in the Hudson River that night and they shot the fireworks off and we were anchored out in front of the Statue of Liberty and New York City was behind us, and the Statue of Liberty and the fireworks were going off sitting on that boat. That was the coolest thing and my girls still talk about that. I mean, that was the coolest thing on Fourth of July I can ever remember. I can’t top that one probably. It was emotional sitting there watching the Statue of Liberty and thinking about all that. It was very cool.”
Billy Currington (4th of July) OC: …of my life. :16
“My best memories would be hanging out with my mom, brother and sister on the beach on Tybee Island right off the coast of Savannah, Georgia. We’d go there every year, and we’d light our own fireworks and watch the ones that they had for us. They were the best times, some of the best times of my life.”
Carrie Underwood (favorite Fourth of July memory) OC: …work out. :51
“I think my favorite Fourth of July memory would be going to the fireworks stand and picking out which fireworks I wanted to do. I must’ve been like 7 or 8, and I came home and made a list of what order I wanted to do them in, because I wanted to put a show on for Mom and Dad, and of course I couldn’t wait until it was dark outside (laughs). So, I made my Mom and Dad get the lawn chairs and come out to the backyard and watch some not very dramatic fireworks at like six o’clock in the evening, but I was so proud of myself, and I was so proud of the show that I put on. So, I feel like that was a little training for what I do now – putting on shows, figuring out how it’s all going to work out.”
Dalton Dover (Fourth of July) OC: …back then, you know? :17
“We would go out on the lake. We’d fish all day. I just remember my mom and my uncles and my grandpa, they would all go get fireworks across the Alabama line and we would all just be in the yard shooting ‘em. We’d have sparklers and all kinds of stuff. Even the littlest, cheapest fireworks, we thought were huge back then, you know?”
Darius Rucker (4th of July) 1 OC: …in the world. :24
“The Fourth of July to me is a day to celebrate freedom. We get to travel all over the world and see a lot of stuff, and I’ve been to a lot of countries that aren’t like ours and that’s when you really appreciate the fact that you can do whatever you want. As long as you’re willing to deal with the consequences, you can do whatever you want, you know? [I] appreciate those soldiers who died for us to be sitting here doing this, and we live in the greatest country in the world.”
Darius Rucker (fireworks) OC: …off once. :15
“Oh, I love fireworks. We had the bottle rocket fights and all that good stuff. I was the typical little crazy kid, you know. In South Carolina, it was always legal, so we shot fireworks when it was legal. We did all that sort of stuff. I almost blew my hand off once.”
Dierks Bentley (people are America) OC: …all about. :17
“The definition of America to me, you know, getting a chance to travel across the country on a tour bus, stepping upon stages whether it be county fairs, state fairs, arenas, rock bars, the Opry stage, anywhere across the country and looking out at that crowd and seeing people. The people, to me, are what America’s all about.”
Eric Church (4th of July) OC: …freedoms. 1:17
“The Fourth of July for me, growing up we would always go to the lake, we didn’t live on the lake but we would all go to the lake. Had a buddy who had a pontoon and we would always get on the pontoon and you go out and you’d tie all the pontoons together and just have a big time. This was before, I was younger then, the adults were having more fun than we were, you know it was just to go swim in the water and shoot off fireworks. Basically, water tailgating is what it was. And then as we got older, same thing…we would just, us younger kids had our own boat and we had as much fun as the adults.”
Jon Langston (Fourth of July) OC: …either way. :17
“The Fourth of July is usually different every year. We’re usually playing shows, or we’re out on the lake or at the beach, or sometimes I’ve said, ‘I’m staying at home,’ shooting fireworks off the back porch or something. That’s probably not the safest thing, but we have a good time either way.”
Jordan Davis (Fourth of July) 2 OC: …really cool. :17
“Probably baseball games, firework shows at baseball games. We’d go to Shreveport Captains games, so yeah, we’d do that or barbecues and fireworks. I can remember being on the lake for a couple of Fourth of Julys. We’d take the boat out and we’d watch the downtown fireworks show from the boat, which was really cool.”
Jordan Davis (Fourth of July cooking out) OC: …a bunch of food. :29
“I love cooking for people. I love having people over to the house, grilling hot dogs, cooking/making brisket, just being around the people you want to be around with – drinking beer, watching baseball. I don’t know. Maybe I’m just getting old, but like my idea of having fun now is having people over to the house and just playing host, and so that’s exactly what we’re going to do this year; have some friends and family over and hang out with the kids, let ‘em run around the sprinklers and cook a bunch of food.”
Josh Turner (fireworks) OC: …of money. [laughs] :20
“Yeah, we had fireworks around, especially my Daddy’s family. All the individual families had a lot of competition with each other and tried to outdo each other to try to see who had the biggest and baddest fireworks and all that. [laughs] My daddy, I think, was the smartest one. He just went out and bought maybe $25 worth of fireworks and let everybody else put on the big show, so he saved a lot of money.” [laughs]
Keith Urban (coming to America 1st time) OC: …as I could. :39
“1989 was the first year I came to the States, and it had always been my goal, but I had no plan on how to get here. It was just a case of keep playing, keep getting better at what you do, and then hopefully, somehow, some way I’ll end up over here. The guy who was managing me at the time, we just planned a trip over here – it was actually for the New Music Seminar in New York. And we came over for that, and then we did a trip down to Nashville, and I shopping my little demo around. I think I humored everybody more than anything else [laughs] with my tragic, ill-fitting demo for the time. So, I left there, but I was just so committed to coming back as quick as I could.”
Kip Moore (Fourth of July-soldier) OC: …every day. :32
“I’m a very, very patriotic person, proud of the country that I live in, and I’m very proud of what those guys do for us each and every day, and I don’t take it for granted one bit. My grandparents were in the military, fought wars, and I’ve seen the battle that they go through, just the horror of remember things. When I start to think that I’m half-way tough, I realize how I’m not one bit when I talk to soldiers when I’m out and realize the things that they go through. I can’t imagine facing what those guys face every day.”
Luke Bryan (4th of July memories) OC: …we used to. :21
“Some of my favorite Fourth of July memories were spent on Lake Blackshear down in Georgia with my family. I was always kind of in charge of driving home from Tennessee and picking up all the fireworks and my nieces and nephews always got excited when I rolled in because they knew I had all the fireworks. But, it was always a great memory, and I miss not getting to do that as much as we used to.”
Luke Bryan (Fourth of July plans) OC: …on the fourth. :15
“My plans for the Fourth are always to be on the boat somewhere in the water, and buy a few fireworks, send ‘em up in the sky for the boys, but it’s always a boat and water, whether it’s in the Gulf of Mexico, whether it’s in Georgia…we don’t have a total plan yet, but we’ll be having a good time on the fourth.”
Maddie & Tae (Fourth of July) OC: …it’s perfect. :29
TAE: “One of my favorite Fourth of July traditions – I’d say it’s a tradition ‘cause it happens every year, but I’m not always able to make it – is that we go to my grandparents in Oklahoma, and we all line up lawn chairs right in front of their garage and we just light fireworks. We always do it far away and then we light it, and we always run back and watch the fireworks, but that’s probably one of my favorite memories.” MADDIE: “My birthday is July 7th, so I always get built-in fireworks for my birthday, and sometimes we actually celebrate it on the 4th, because there’s fireworks everywhere, so it’s perfect.”
Parker McCollum (Fourth of July) OC: …days of my life. :23
“My favorite Fourth of July memories growing up are actually kind of dangerous now that I think about it, but we used to have fireworks wars where we’d shoot like roman candles and bottle rockets. We’d always go to my grandma’s house, pop fireworks and we’d end up shooting ’em at each other and having wars; no eye protection, no nothing, just shooting bottle rockets at each other’s faces. But it was so fun; some of the best days of my life.”
Priscilla Block (Fourth of July) OC: …we get crazy. :26
“I love Fourth of July. I usually always have a Fourth of July party. It is known that there is a slip-n-slide at my house on Fourth of July. You know, it’s such a great holiday to just bring friends together and, I don’t know, we get wild on the Fourth. We get crazy.”
Sam Hunt (Fourth of July) OC: …good time. :39
“My granddad on the other side of my family, he would always take a lot of pride…fireworks were actually, I’m from Georgia, and most of them were illegal, I’m pretty sure, growing up. But over in Alabama, that’s where all the firework stands were, and we only had to drive 10, 15 minutes to get to the Alabama line, so we could go get a bundle of fireworks pretty easy. But he would always take a lot of pride in going and finding all the good stuff, and coming back with a big pile. He’d have his torch out there at the end of the driveway and we’d all eat homemade ice cream and put down towels on the driveway and he’d shoot off fireworks for 30-45 minutes. Such a good time.”
Travis Denning (Fourth of July) OC: …will love. :51
“Fourth of July in Warner Robins, Georgia is an event. It’s something else. In fact, forever they’ve thrown an Independence Day concert, and back in the day, it was huge. It was the biggest thing they did all year. They would actually have the concert in the MAC (McConnell-Talbert Stadium), which was the high school football stadium that Warner Robins and Northside and Houston County shared. I mean, one year they had Wynonna play and then they had Josh Turner one year, Darius Rucker. I mean it was like a big deal, and there’d be 15,000, 20,000 people there, and I think it’s so cool that there’s a little bit of a legacy of people coming together in that town and making something happen, you know? I’ll never forget going to those shows and thinking, I was more proud of what the city had done. I was like, ‘That’s just so cool that they could put together a show like this, an event that everybody will love.”
Tyler Hubbard (Fourth of July) OC: …that freedom. :43
“Yeah, I love the Fourth of July. A lot of great memories growing up, watching fireworks, being with family, hanging out. And even to this day we have a tradition where we try to go to Sun Valley where my wife is from and hang out in the mountains and take the kids and just spend a week out there just kind of enjoying life and taking it all in, and obviously, we still love to do the fireworks and hang out, but also just kind of reflect and be thankful for the country we live in, the sacrifices made so that we can live here and be free and it’s just a special, special holiday. We’re always so grateful and thankful for the people who served this country and the sacrifice that’s made with their families and everything else, and pay honor and tribute to those who fight so hard for that freedom.”