YouTube is celebrating Class of 2020 graduates with the help of a host of commencement speakers, including Google CEO Sundar Pichai, President Barack Obama, Lady Gaga and more than a dozen other big names, the company announced Tuesday.
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YouTube’s virtual commencement ceremony, “Dear Class of 2020,” will premiere on the YouTube Originals channel on June 6. The show will be headlined by President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama, in addition to Pichai, Gaga, former Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Malala Yousafzai.
The show will honor students whose graduation ceremonies were derailed as a result of the novel coronavirus pandemic.
“Graduation is a tradition that students and families look forward to and with the current state of the world, YouTube is lending some inspiration in the form of a virtual commencement,” said YouTube’s global head of original content, Susanne Daniels, in a prepared statement. “We hope bringing together noteworthy, influential speakers along with performances from some of their favorite artists will provide encouragement for the students who have worked so hard to get here.”
The celebration will also include a “festival-style lineup” of performances and appearances by BTS, Alicia Keys, Kelly Rowland, Kerry Washington, Zendaya, Chloe x Halle and a handful of YouTube creators.
It is being co-hosted by Michelle Obama’s Reach Higher Initiative, Gaga’s Born This Way Foundation and Yousafzai's Malala Fund, among others.
Just last week, NBA great LeBron James announced he, too, would be hosting an event to honor the Class of 2020.
The one-hour special will pay tribute to high schoolers graduating this year and will include appearances by James, Pharrell Williams, Malala Yousafzai, the Jonas Brothers, Bad Bunny, Yara Shahidi, Ben Platt, Lena Waithe and H.E.R.
“I wanted to help create a show that looked and felt very different from traditional specials. Something that spoke to kids in a different way. These kids worked so hard to graduate and what is happening to them is truly unfair,” James said in a statement to The Associated Press. “I hope we can give them and their families something cool that makes their accomplishment feel special.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.