David Archuleta dedicated one of his performances at the 30th anniversary broadcast of "A Capitol Fourth" to the United States troops and their families. Introduced by host Jimmy Smits as the singer who "survived Simon Cowell", he honored the heroes with "Stand by Me".
Prior to that, the 2008 runner-up of "American Idol" opened the celebration, held as part of event to commemorate the U.S. independence day, with a rendition of "Star Spangled Banner". Other performers at the Sunday, July 4 festivity were Gladys Knight and Reba McEntire.
Additionally, McEntire was handed with National Artistic Achievement Award for her "dedication to enriching the national legacy of the performing arts as well as her lifetime of musical contributions." Previous recipients of this special honor included John Williams, Gloria Estefan and Emilio Estefan as well as Stevie Wonder.
Aired on PBS, the gig took place on the west lawn of the U.S. Capitol grounds. It was closed with a fireworks display above the National Mall. The First Family and their military guests watched the evening's fireworks from the South Lawn of the White House.
"Stand by Me":
"Star Spangled Banner":