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McBride replaces Richie for Pops concert

July 2, 2011 at 2:21 AM   |   Comments

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BOSTON, July 2 (UPI) -- Country singer Martina McBride has been booked to replace Lionel Richie as the featured musical guest for the Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular, CBS said.

Richie was forced to cancel his participation in Monday's Independence Day event because he is suffering from strained vocal cords, said the network, which is to air the program live from the Charles River Esplanade in Boston.

Emmy Award-winning actor and Boston-area native Michael Chiklis is to serve as host of the special.

Richie, who has been completing his upcoming album as well as performing concerts, has been ordered by his doctor to rest his voice.

"I am extremely disappointed to cancel my performance with the Boston Pops but must follow my doctor's orders," Richie said in a statement Friday. "It was such an honor being asked to celebrate the Fourth of July with this legendary orchestra and I hope to perform with them in the future."

"We will miss Lionel and hope he recovers quickly and completely," said Jack Sussman, executive vice president of specials, music and live events for CBS Entertainment. "Having a superstar like Martina step in at the last minute is a dream come true. She is one of the greatest voices of this or any generation, and she is now my hero."

McBride will perform some of her biggest hits with the Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra under the direction of conductor Keith Lockhart, CBS said.

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