NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Martina McBride, four-time CMA Female Vocalist of the Year and three-time ACM Top Female Vocalist of the Year, will headline one of the city’s signature events this summer – “Music City July 4th: Let Freedom Sing!,” the Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp (NCVC) announced today. The show line-up will also include GRAMMY®-nominated songwriter Mikky Ekko and the GRAMMY®-winning Nashville Symphony Orchestra. The July 4th event will feature live music and family activities throughout the afternoon and evening, and the headlining concert will be followed by one of the nation’s best fireworks displays choreographed to live music.
Music City July 4th: Let Freedom Sing! has grown exponentially since its inception, with the 2014 event generating $7.63 million in direct visitor spending. City officials estimated a record 284,000 people lined the streets of Broadway to experience the live concert series and fireworks display.
This year’s “Music City July 4th: Let Freedom Sing!” is presented by Dr Pepper and is sponsored by Anderson Benson Insurance, Budweiser, Bud Light, Carl Black Chevrolet, Durango Boots and Jack Daniel’s.
Hotel and attraction packages are available by calling the NCVC at (800) 657-6910 or online at www.visitmusiccity.com.
Martina McBride grew up singing country music in rural Kansas, accompanied by her father’s band. She first made the country charts in 1992. Her hit records since then have included such enduring classics as “Wild Angels,” “Safe in the Arms of Love,” “Wrong Again,” “Blessed,” “My Baby Loves Me,” “Life #9,” “Love’s the Only House,” “Whatever You Say,” “Where Would You Be,” “In My Daughter’s Eyes,” “When God Fearin’ Women Get the Blues” and “A Broken Wing.” She is known for singing lyrics of substance and songs that challenge listeners. Martina has addressed domestic violence in “Independence Day,” female empowerment in “This One’s for the Girls,” child abuse in “Concrete Angel,” alcoholism in “Cheap Whiskey,” poverty in “God’s Will” and cancer in “I’m Gonna Love You Through It.”
To date, she has had 20 top-10 hits and six No. 1 smashes. As a result, Martina McBride is ranked as the most played woman vocalist on country radio between 1999 and 2010, She was honored with induction into the cast of the Grand Ole Opry in 1995.
Martina McBride has been awarded 14 Gold Records, nine Platinum honors, three Double Platinum Records and two Triple Platinum awards and been recognized for selling over 18 million units. The Country Music Association has named her its Female Vocalist of the Year four times. The Academy of Country Music has presented her with its Top Female honor three times. The Recording Academy has nominated her for 14 Grammy Awards.
Ekko’s belief in music’s transformative power was instilled in him at a young age. He was born John Stephen Sudduth in Shreveport, Louisiana, the son of a tar plant manager turned minister. He grew up listening to classical music (thanks to his mom) and classic rock (thanks to his dad), and began imitating R&B singers like Stevie Wonder and Smokey Robinson as a teen, “because I realized I could do runs,” he says. After graduating from high school, Ekko did move to Nashville, and enrolled in a music business course at a community college while trying to find a gig fronting a band, figuring it was best way to impress people with his voice. In Nashville, Ekko met the producers Tim Lauer and Dan Hansen and self-released the music they created together as an EP, Strange Fruit, in 2009. His efforts, as well as his mesmerizing live performances, attracted management, who advised Ekko to get off the road and focus on getting the music right. Once labels and publishers heard the songs he had written with Eliot, Smith, and Parker, including “Stay” and “Smile,” they clamored to sign him, with RCA winning out in April 2012. A few months later, In October, Ekko’s song “Feels Like The End” was used in the season premiere of Grey’s Anatomy. Ekko’s songs have also been heard on Orange Is The New Black, Homeland, and Pretty Little Liars.
The mission of the Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp is to maximize the economic contribution of the convention and tourism industry to the community by developing and marketing Nashville as a premier destination.