NEW YORK (AP) — Queen Latifah started with “The Star-Spangled Banner” and ended with a rap classic, Amy Schumer told raunchy jokes despite some children in the crowd and country singer Sara Evans was a vocal powerhouse when she covered Sam Smith.
The performers headlined the inaugural Fourth of July Freedom Festival at the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum, which organizers plan to hold annually.
Latifah closed the event benefiting the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund, which began Saturday night and went into Sunday morning. She was versatile, going from jazz standards to Broadway tunes to rap — mirroring her adaptable career.
“Shout-out to all of our men and women in uniform. Shout-out to my father, Vietnam veteran. Thank you so much daddy,” she said.
She ended with her hip-hop anthem “U.N.I.T.Y.” and thanked the crowd for allowing her to move from music to Broadway to TV and film.
Schumer was also a crowd favorite, and she warned parents with little ones early on: “Take a lap.”
The comedian — who had a breakthrough this year thanks to her popular Comedy Central series, hosting gig at the MTV Movie Awards and upcoming film that she wrote — told jokes about sex, dating and Hollywood, which earned her numerous laughs.
Though most comedians go the stage with water, Schumer brought a bottle of wine, which she chugged throughout her set. She performed longer than planned.
“I’m supposed to get off stage, but I’m not going anywhere. This (ended) up being fun. I thought this was going to suck,” she said.
Evans, who has multiple hits on the country chart, impressed with a cover of Smith’s “Lay Me Down” that quieted the audience — in a good way. She ended by singing Walk the Moon’s current Top 5 hit, the upbeat and colorful “Shut Up and Dance.”
Other performers included country singer Will Hoge, rock band the Alternate Routes and rising pop singer Rachel Platten, who sang her anthemic hit, “Fight Song.”
Schumer’s film, “Trainwreck,” is in theaters July 17. She will open for three New York dates on Madonna’s Rebel Heart Tour this fall.
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