Mary J. Blige to headline Welcome America Festival on July 4th

The 25th Anniversary of the Welcome America July 4 t h Concert, a six-day festival held over the Independence Day holiday on the Ben Franklin Parkway, will feature Mary J. Blige -- musical pioneer and "the Queen of Hip-Hop Soul" -- as its headliner.

The annual event, which takes place Thursday, June 28 through Tuesday, July 4, will honor other R&B legends: Philadelphia's hometown icons Boyz II Men.

The Philly POPS BIG Band will also join the festival's 25th iteration. The POPS will perform alongside Mandy Gonzales from the Tony Award-winning hit musicals Hamilton, In the Heights and Wicked and Billboard top 10 jazz singer, pianist and songwriter Tony DeSare.

More entertainment, festival information, and details about 50 free festival events will be announced in the coming weeks.

"Each of these artists are history makers in their own right," explained Mayor Jim Kenney, chairman of Welcome America, Inc. "We are thrilled to welcome them back to Philadelphia and to be able to host a free concert that all Philadelphians can enjoy."

The theme of this year's 25th Anniversary Welcome America? "Everyone is a History Maker."