This year's Macy's 4th of July fireworks will be scored and designed by none other than Usher.
The eight-time Grammy Award-winning artist is working with the department store on its annual fireworks show, marking the first time Macy's has worked with a celebrity to produce the show. Usher is no stranger to working with Macy's, having appeared in the retailer's TV campaigns to promote his fragrance.
Prior to last year, the fireworks show had always been handled entirely by the retailer's in-house team. Last year it solicited consumer input on the score. Now Usher will "curate" the score and the fireworks themselves, Macy's said.
"Last year really started the idea of working externally," said Orlando Veras, a Macy's spokesman. "There are so many artists out there who are creative in so many ways, so we got a short list together. Usher really got what we wanted to do and what the fireworks mean to Macy's and mean to the country."
Mr. Veras declined to reveal who else was on the short list.
Macy's believes Usher's involvement will expand the audience for the show, which is broadcast nationally and won some 8 million viewers for NBC last year. "Working with Usher, we're going to get to his fans and our traditional fireworks fans," Mr. Veras said. "We'll definitely attract a new audience."
The show will be dubbed "It Begins With a Spark," and is set to include music from Rihanna, Kelly Clarkson, Frank Sinatra and Sam Cooke. A version of the Star Spangled Banner by Jimi Hendrix will also be included.
In the past, Mr. Veras said Macy's has embraced a variety of musical themes, from chorale music to orchestral music to current hits. The retailer was the first to begin choreographing fireworks to music two decades ago, he said.