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Chicago’s Lee Loughnane on performing for ‘A Capitol Fourth’: “I’m proud to be able to call myself an American”

Capital Concerts/PBS

Chicago is one of several musical acts set to perform on PBS’ A Capitol Fourth, and original member Lee Loughnane is certainly looking forward to celebrating our nation’s independence in Washington, D.C. 


A Capitol Fourth is a great show,” he tells ABC Audio. “You wait the whole show and hear some great music and then at the end, the fireworks are just, they blow your mind.”

This is the second time Chicago has performed on A Capitol Fourth, and this time they’ll perform three songs for fans. And as a bonus, Lee and the band will get to be right on the lawn watching the fireworks with everyone else.

“The fireworks has always been the greatest thing about the Fourth of July,” he says. “Besides the fact that the country is celebrating a birthday and this is the freest country in the world, and I’m proud to be able to call myself an American.”

The 76-year-old Loughnane is now in his 58th year of touring with Chicago — and even he can’t believe it sometimes.

“There is no way to look into the crystal ball and think that you might be doing the same songs that you were doing when you’re 19, 20 years old,” he says. “[It’s] really fun to be able to still do this. I mean, I feel like I’m 20 sometimes. My body doesn’t all the time, but, you know, my mind is. I’ve never quite grown up.” 

A Capitol Fourth, hosted by Alfonso Ribeiro, airs Tuesday, July 4, at 8 p.m. on PBS. In addition to Chicago, it will feature performances by Belinda CarlisleBabyfaceBoyz II Men and more.

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