Beyoncé, Taylor Swift, J Lo Join Obamas, BTS – Variety2 min read
YouTube announced Beyoncé, Jennifer Lopez and Taylor Swift will be among those joining “Dear Class of 2020,” punching even more star power into its virtual commencement ceremony for this year’s quarantined graduates.
More than two dozen additional artists, celebrities and influencers will participate in the livestream, set to kick off Saturday, June 6, at 3 p.m. ET/noon PT. They will join previously announced headliners President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama, who are delivering commencement addresses, alongside K-pop powerhouse BTS, Lady Gaga, and more.
Beyoncé Knowles-Carter will deliver an “inspirational message” to the 2020 seniors, according to YouTube. In addition to Queen Bey, live programming event will feature guest appearances by Jennifer Lopez, Taylor Swift, Demi Lovato, Janelle Monáe, Billy Porter and more.
Musical performances during the multi-hour marathon livestream will feature artists including Lizzo, Camila Cabello, Chloe x Halle, and Maluma. Following a symbolic graduation cap-toss, YouTube’s celebration will continue with a grad-night party headlined by BTS, along with newly announced performances by CNCO, Doja Cat, and Megan Thee Stallion.
Others newly announced as participating in “Dear Class of 2020” include Lala Anthony, Andy Cohen, Lana Condor, Misty Copeland, Kevin Durant, Finneas, Bill and Melinda Gates, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and HitRecord, Hasan Minhaj, Antoni Porowski, Phoebe Robinson, Yara Shahidi, Michael Strahan, Ciara and Russell Wilson, the casts of HBO’s “Euphoria” and CW’s “Riverdale,” the “Today” show’s Jenna Bush Hager and Natalie Morales, and YouTube creators Emma Chamberlain, John Green, NikkieTutorials and Mark Rober.
They will join previously announced lineup, which includes Alicia Keys, Kelly Rowland, Kerry Washington, Malala Yousafzai, Zendaya, Alphabet and Google CEO Sundar Pichai, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, former Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates, and YouTube creators Dude Perfect, the Try Guys, Jackie Aina, AsapScience, Zane Hijazi, Heath Hussar and Mr. Kate.
“Dear Class of 2020” will be streamed at this link and can be found on the YouTube Originals channel (at this link) and YouTube’s Learn@Home site (learnathome.withyoutube.com). YouTube doesn’t have an estimate on how long the whole show will run, but it will be several hours long in total.
The event’s festival-style lineup combines traditional commencement-day themes and keynotes with live entertainment. Michelle Obama’s Reach Higher initiative, aimed at inspiring kids to continue their educational careers beyond high school, will kick off the broadcast with a full hour of programming.
U.S. graduating students who want a chance to participate in the event can upload videos via YouTube’s “Dear Class of 2020” website (dearclassof2020.net) in a range of categories, like teacher shout-outs and their own celebrations. The deadline for submissions is Friday, May 22. YouTube said it will highlight “inspiring videos” from members of the Class of 2020 in the weeks leading up to the June 6 livestream.
The YouTube special will be produced by Done + Dusted, which also co-produced the May 16 “Graduate Together” event — featuring Barack Obama, LeBron James and Malala Yousafzai — with James’ SpringHill Entertainment.