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The Roots act as house band for Nicki Minaj, Ed Sheeran

PHILADELPHIA--The Roots worked as the house band for top-selling acts like Nicki Minaj and Ed Sheeran for its annual free concert Friday in Philadelphia celebrating Independence Day.

UK-based Sheeran closed the three-hour event that also featured Jennifer Hudson and Aloe Blacc.

Sheeran sang “The A Team” as well as his latest hit, “Sing.” The latter track is from his new album, “+,” which debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 albums chart this week.

The event starred Questlove, Black Thought and other members of the hip-hop band.

Minaj performed “Super Bass,” “Pills N Potions” and closed with “Moment 4 Life.”

Pop singer Ariana Grande was supposed to be part of the lineup Friday, but her representative said she had to pull out because of a family emergency.

Hudson belted her signature high notes, especially on “And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going.”

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 Broadway and TV casting director Barry Moss dies aged 74 
Nicki Minaj performs during an Independence Day celebration in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Friday, July 4. (AP)

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