Wawa Welcome America

Kesha, NE-YO rock the July 4th Philly stage, fireworks light up the sky

Kesha, NE-YO, Adam Blackstone, Ruben Studdard, Chill Moody and more performed in Philly for the July 4th Wawa Welcome America concert

NBC Universal, Inc.

Popstar Kesha, R&B hitmaker NE-YO, Philly musician Adam Blackstone and special guests rocked the Benjamin Franklin Parkway in Philly during the July 4th Wawa Welcome America concert!

Adam Blackstone opened the concert for the second-straight year with some help from guests Ruben Studdard and Chill Moody.

Kesha then took the stage and performed her biggest hits, including "Tik Tok" and "Timber."

Then NE-YO closed out the concert by performing his own hits, including "Sexy Love," "So Sick," and "Closer" while bringing out some Philly hip hop legends to perform a classic.

The festivities ended with a spectacular fireworks show over the city of brotherly love!

Get a recap of all the fun with our live blog below:

10 p.m. ET: Wawa Welcome America ends with July 4th fireworks show!

The 2024 Wawa Welcome America festivities ended with a spectacular fireworks show over Philadelphia!

After NE-YO and Kesha lit up the Wawa Welcome America stage, fireworks lit up the night sky over Philly on July 4th! Watch the spectacular show! 

9 p.m. ET: NE-YO takes the stage

Three-time Grammy Award-winning R&B hitmaker, songwriter, actor, entrepreneur and philanthropist NE-YO took the Wawa Welcome America stage around 9 p.m. to close out the July 4th Philly concert!

His debut single, 2005’s “So Sick,” hit No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and was certified quadruple-platinum. Since then, the Motown Records/Compound Entertainment recording artist has racked up a collection of global hits including “Sexy Love,” “Closer,” “Because of You,” “Miss Independent,” and “Push Back” [feat. Bebe Rexha and Stefflon Don].”

Additionally, NE-YO has proven to be as powerful with his pen as he is in the recording studio and on stage, penning bangers like Rihanna’s “Unfaithful,” “Russian Roulette,” and “Take a Bow,” along with Beyoncé’s 2006 breakup anthem “Irreplaceable” and songs for such artists as Jennifer Hudson, UsherCarrie UnderwoodCeline Dion and Mario, among others.

NE-YO performed his best known hits at the July 4th concert. He also played to the local crowd by bringing in Freeway and Peedi Crakk to perform the Philly hip hop classic "What We Do."

8 p.m. ET: Kesha performs her hits

Popstar Kesha took the Wawa Welcome America stage, performing several hit songs, including "Tik Tok" and "Timber."

Over her career, Kesha has earned 10 Top 10 singles, billions of streams, two No. 1 albums, four No. 1 songs on Top 40 radio and nearly 40 million followers across social media. The Grammy-nominated superstar attracts a diverse, passionate and socially engaged global audience who believe in the messages behind her music while critics also have unanimously sung her praises. 

Kesha’s ventures outside of music include a top-rated TV program, an award-winning film, a book, a cruise, and a cosmetics line, all of which spotlight an artist whose passion, talent and charm has earned her legions of fans. Additionally, the popstar has been a staunch advocate for the LGBTQIA+ community and animal welfare through various organizations since the start of her career. 

7 p.m. ET: Adam Blackstone, Chill Moody, Ruben Studdard open the show

Adam Blackstone, a legend in the music business who has served as musical director for artists including Janet Jackson, Nicki Minaj and Justin Timberlake, opened the 2024 Wawa Welcome America concert.

A New Jersey native -- he grew up in Willingboro -- who attended Philadelphia's University of the Arts, Blackstone began his music career as a session musician before he started touring the world. His website dubs him "The Man Behind the Music."

The multi-faceted bassist know something about playing in front of big crowds. He helped cultivate and curate the Super Bowl 54 Halftime Show featuring Jennifer Lopez and Shakira, according to his official biography. He has also worked on the Super Bowl Halftime shows for Rihanna, Dr. Dre/Snoop Dogg and Timberlake.

Blackstone performed during last year's July 4th Philly concert as well as last year's Roots Picnic.

Blackstone was later joined by Philly hip hop artist Chill Moody.

After Chill, R&B singer and "American Idol" winner Ruben Studdard joined Adam on stage to perform "Sorry 2004."

6 p.m. ET: "Rest now, party later"

With an hour left before the concert, NBC10's Tim Furlong caught up with a concertgoer who took the time to rest in the shade ahead of the big show.

5 p.m. ET: Crowd gathers at the main stage

Security is working to keep everyone safe for the concert featuring Ne-Yo and Kesha Thursday night. NBC10's Tim Furlong and Claudia Vargas report from the Benjamin Franklin Parkway.

The crowd began to grow on the festival grounds and concertgoers began to gather near the main stage.

NBC10's Tim Furlong caught up with some of the concertgoers and briefly sang his favorite Kesha song.

4 p.m. ET: Gates open, DJ Diamond Kuts and Snacktime perform

The main entrance at Logan Circle at 20th Street and the Benjamin Franklin Parkway opened at 4 p.m. Those with tickets entered at 22nd Street and Pennsylvania Avenue as well as 22nd and Winter streets.

DJ Diamond Kuts and Snacktime performed on the Pennsylvania Lottery Groove Stage.

Meanwhile, NBC10's Tim Furlong checked in with a security guard and invited NBC10's Johnny Archer and Tracy Davidson to mosh with him "90s-style" during the concert.

If you’re still on your way to the concert, here’s a full list of what is and isn’t allowed inside festival grounds.

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