On Sunday, YouTube is presenting a virtual graduation ceremony to all those graduates who won’t be able to accept their diplomas onstage this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Dear Class of 2020”, airing on YouTube via livestream starting at 3 p.m. ET/noon PT, is a four-hour special featuring some of the world’s biggest stars offering commencement messages to this year’s crop of graduates.
The special had originally been slated to air on Saturday, but was rescheduled so as not to conflict with the memorial service for George Floyd.
There’s some serious star power on hand, including Barack and Michelle Obama, Beyoncé, Taylor Swift, Jennifer Lopez, Lady Gaga, Justin Timberlake, Billie Eilish, Missy Elliott, Katy Perry, Alicia Keys, Megan Thee Stallion, and BTS.
The ceremony opened with a performance of the traditional graduation theme “Pomp and Circumstance” featuring Lizzo joined by the New York Philharmonic.
Other highlights Katy Perry leading the graduates in the ceremonial turning of the tassel and the debut of a new cover version of U2’s “Beautiful Day”, produced by Billie Eilish’s brother Finneas and featuring Leon Bridges, Camila Cabello, Noah Cyrus, Cynthia Erivo, Khalid, Tove Lo, Coldplay’s Chris Martin, Ben Platt, and Ty Dolla $ign — with an intro from Bono himself.
Also scheduled to appear are Alicia Keys, Shawn Mendes, Demi Lovato, Seth Rogen, Chris Pine, Jack Black and John Mulaney, the casts of “The Simpsons” and “Schitt’s Creek”, Jimmy Kimmel and more, with BTS scheduled to close things out with a special performance.