New York, NY (Top40 Charts)
Barack and Michelle Obama hosted a virtual graduation ceremony today to honor those leaving school as part of the Class Of 2020. It was originally supposed to happen on Saturday, but was rescheduled to observe a memorial service for George
Floyd that was held in North Carolina yesterday.
They got a ton of famous people involved: Beyoncé, Taylor Swift, Jennifer Lopez, Lady Gaga, Justin Timberlake, Billie Eilish, Missy Elliott, Katy Perry, Alicia Keys, Megan Thee Stallion, and BTS are all made appearances during the ceremony.
As part of the YouTube Originals event Dear Class of 2020, dozens of musicians, actors, artists and public figures shared messages of hope and solidarity with all those graduating amid a global pandemic and unprecedented social activism.
From a jazzy, orchestra-backed opening number from Lizzo
to three separate messages from Barack and Michelle Obama, to speeches and calls to action from Lady Gaga, Jennifer Lopez, Justin Timberlake
and more, there was no shortage of love during this virtual graduation ceremony.
In a video to the class of 2020, Beyonce
Knowles-Carter gave a speech that touched on the major world events this year's graduates are facing and criticized the entertainment industry for the biases she had to overcome during her career:
"Congratulations to the class of 2020, you have arrived here in the middle of a global crisis, a racial pandemic and worldwide expression of outrage at the senseless killing of yet another unarmed Black
human being. And you still made it, we're so proud of you," she said. " We've seen that our collective hearts, when put to positive action, could start the wheels of change. Real change has started with you, this new generation of high school and college graduates who we celebrate today."
opened up in her video message, saying that she knows "right now it might not feel like there's a lot to celebrate and that's okay."
"It's okay to not be okay right now. I know so many people are not thinking about your time at school," she shared, before touching on the protests that are going on across the world.
"You are showing that your generation is going to heal us. I promise to always be by your side, no matter where the fight for justice takes us next," Alicia added. "The pain is not new but it feels different. For the first time, no matter what we look like or what we're from, we can see so clearly what injustice looks like and now we can all choose how to respond. Change only happens when we educate ourselves and hold each other accountable and make sure we register to vote."
She told the graduating class, "Thank you for being the inspiration for the world to see our collective humanity. I hope you can laugh, smile and allow yourself to reflect on all your accomplishments."
"There's nothing and no one that can stop you from changing the world. I see you. You're unstoppable," she concluded.