The Roots will help celebrate our nation's roots on the Fourth of July as the house band for the Philly 4th of July Jam at Eakins Oval on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Mayor Nutter announced on Thursday.
"The largest free concert in the United States," as Nutter called the event, is the brainchild of Welcome America! musical director Ahmir "?uestlove" Thompson, who has invited an array of headliners, including Pottstown native Daryl Hall and superstahs Queen Latifah, Common, and Joe Jonas.
"Philly is the place to be for the Fourth of July," ?uestlove said.
The show will be preceded by a daylong party along the Parkway featuring dozens of exhibitors, educational activities, games, entertainment, and food.
The July Fourth bash caps the city's annual 10-day patriotic party, the Wawa Welcome America! festival, which will feature a program of events and concerts.
For information visit www.welcomeamerica.com.
Jermaine Jones: I was blindsided
Would-have-been (but never will be) American Idol idol Jermaine Jones, who was booted from Fox's talent show six weeks ago, says he was totally blindsided by Idol bosses. The 25-year-old Pine Hill singer reportedly was axed when Idol suits learned he had lied about having a criminal record.
That's balderdash, Jones told local Fox affiliate Fox29 Wednesday night with vehemence and conviction. He said he told producers about his past indiscretions, including a 2006 drug arrest.
Jones said he's no longer the same impulsive 19-year-old kid. "Nobody's perfect. We all make mistakes. But I've grown, you know," Jones said, "and I've matured and I've learned from these mistakes, and I'm still learning."
Jermaine Jones faces Jersey court
Jermaine Jones' !exclusive! chat with Fox29's Lauren Cohn comes on the heels of his appearance Tuesday in a Gloucester Township courtroom. Jones has accrued five outstanding arrest warrants in Jersey from various nonviolent incidents, including two involving Gloucester Township police. In November, when police pulled him over for a traffic violation, Jones told officers his name was Kareem Watkins. He had done a similar naughty deed in March. The judge told Jones he and his attorney have 30 days to prepare their case.
Ryan Seacrest is Superman ...
... or the U.S. Postal Service. Nothing can stop this man from performing his ever more vital duties. Ryan, who has never missed a day over American Idol's 11 seasons, was ill in the hours leading up to Wednesday night's show. Ryan chilled out with an IV in his arm for some hours. There was much vomiting. Fact, stagehands placed "puke buckets" in strategic places around the set, says TMZ in its inimitable poetic lingo. Ryan made it. He even joked that he would later need to have a serious conversation with gf Julianne Hough after she greeted Phillip Phillips with ardor. "I think she sighed and blushed and said, 'Yummy,' " said Ryan.
BizNews from the dream factory
The modern girl's best friend, Cosmo mag, has launched an English-language-but-for-the-Latina-woman edition. Cosmopolitan for Latinas' first issue is graced by cover girl Zoe Saldana. "People think of Latina women as being fiery and fierce, which is usually true," the Colombiana star says. "But I think the quality that so many Latinas possess is strength. I'm very proud to have Latin blood."
How'd you like it if one of those deadly Jake LaMotta punches in Martin Scorsese's Raging Bull landed in yo' face? Scorsese would love it. He told biz insiders at Cinemacon in Vegas he plans to shoot all of his movies in 3-D from now on. "Absolutely, it's the future," said the Taxi Driver helmer who shot last year's Hugo in 3-D.
Sean Penn gets humanitarian award
"I'm trembling and I like it," Sean Penn said Wednesday when he was presented with the Peace Summit Award by former Soviet prez Mikhail Gorbachev. Penn was cited for his aid work in Haiti. Penn shared the stage with fellow humanitarians the Dalai Lama and former Polish President Lech Walesa.
Tidbits 'n pieces
Levon Helm's fans traveled to his Woodstock, N.Y., home Thursday for a memorial service for The Band drummer, who died April 19 at 71. Helm will be buried at a local cemetery next to The Band bassist Rick Danko, who died in 1999. ... John Travolta, Warren Beatty, Pierce Brosnan and Keely Smith, Steven Spielberg and Kate Capshaw, her stepson Josh Brolin and Diane Lane,Kenny G and Donna Karan were just some of the names who gathered around Barbra Streisand (did they form an actual circle — of love — around her?) Tuesday night in Malibu, Calif., in celebration of Babs' 70th birthday. "It was an intimate magical event with only very close friends, people I've known and loved more than 20 years," Streisand tells People. ... Taylor Swift, 22, and her pal, Glee star Dianna Agron, 25, got dressed up real frilly and "full-time fancy" in vintage to do a bit of revelry-ing at Shirley MacLaine's 78th birthday party at the Beverly Hills Hotel on Sunset Boulevard the same night, Swift tweets. ... Speaking of Taylor Swift, she is top choice to play Joni Mitchell in a film biopic, London's Daily Mail says.