Barack and Michelle Obama to Lead YouTube Virtual Graduation Ceremony with Beyoncé, BTS, Lady Gaga & More [Updated]

Lizzo, Janelle Monaé, Taylor Swift, Megan Thee Stallion, and more are also participating

YouTube graduation livestream class of 2020 commencement speech video Lady Gaga, Barack Obama (Getty), and BTS
Lady Gaga, Barack Obama (Getty), and BTS

    YouTube has announced a video graduation ceremony for the class of 2020, as students currently won’t be able to celebrate in person due to the coronavirus pandemic. The virtual pomp-and-circumstance will feature commencement addresses by Barack Obama and Michelle Obama as well as appearances by Lady Gaga, BTS, and more. Update – May 19th: Beyoncé, Taylor Swift, and Lizzo will also participate.

    The special, dubbed “Dear Class of 2020”, promises “festival-style lineup” with a variety of programming. There will be formal speeches, graduation day-themed discussions, and even musical performances — all while adhering to quarantine restrictions. Taking place on Saturday, June 6th at 3:00 p.m. ET, the ceremony will last multiple hours and stream live on the YouTube Originals channel and the Learn@Home website.

    Other confirmed guests include Janelle Monaé, Alicia Keys, Demi Lovato, Malala Yousafzai, Zendaya, Kevin Durant, Billy Porter, Phoebe Robinson, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Jennifer Lopez, Hasan Minhaj, and Finneas. Plus, the event promises musical performances from BTS, Lizzo, Megan Thee Stallion, Camila Cabello, and Doja Cat.


    In a statement, YouTube’s global head of content, Susanne Daniels, explained why the video streaming platform decided to go big for the class of 2020. “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 Daniels. “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.”


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