Coronavirus

John Legend, Hillary Clinton, Jimmy Fallon to Give Graduation Speeches in iHeartMedia Podcast Special

John Legend
Rich Fury/VF20/Getty Images for Vanity Fair

John Legend attends the 2020 Vanity Fair Oscar Party hosted by Radhika Jones at Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on Feb. 9, 2020 in Beverly Hills, Calif.

'Commencement: Speeches for the Class of 2020' is being released for those students missing graduation due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Update (May 11): Bill and Melinda Gates, Becky G, Freida Pinto, George Lopez, Henry Winkler, John Green, Mary J. Blige, Rita Wilson, Smokey Robinson, T.I., T-Mobile CEO Mike Sievert, Apple CEO Tim Cook and news anchor Tom Brokaw have joined the event.

The class of 2020 won't have the opportunity to don graduation robes or receive their diplomas in front of their families and friends, but iHeartMedia has assembled a star-studded slate of commencement speakers to offer up virtual words of wisdom.

Hillary Clinton, Jimmy Fallon, John Legend and a dozen others are recording speeches specifically for current seniors who are missing their graduations due to the coronavirus pandemic. The missives will be available May 15 as part of the iHeart podcast special Commencement: Speeches for the Class of 2020.

"Because so many schools and colleges have moved to online learning to ensure the safety of their students, many graduates are missing their commencement ceremonies, traditionally such significant milestones in their lives," iHeartPodcast Network president Conal Byrne said in a statement.

"High school and college seniors are always in need of inspiration, reassurance and life advice as they head into the next chapter of their lives, and that is especially true this year. Speeches for the Class Of 2020 brings together some of the most experienced and inspiring people in the country today to celebrate the resilience, strength and accomplishments of this year’s graduates. These are the speakers our graduates would have had at their real-world ceremonies if not for current circumstances, and we couldn’t be more excited to bring them together through this podcast."

Others expected to record speeches specifically for the podcast include cosmetics entrepreneur Bobbi Brown, comedian Chelsea Handler, restauranteur David Chang, Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon, former NFL player Eli Manning, NPR correspondent Guy Raz, journalist Katie Couric, TV personality Dr. Oz, Ariel Investments co-CEO Mellody Hobson, Duke basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski, actress Sienna Miller, Gen. Stanley McChrystal, MSNBC anchor Stephanie Ruhle and Epic Records CEO Sylvia Rhone. Several recording artists, including Halsey, Kesha, DJ Khaled, Khalid, Pitbull and Tim McGraw, are also participating.

In addition, several iHeart hosts will record speeches, including Ryan Seacrest, Enrique Santos, Angie Martinez, Bobby Bones, Jake Brennan, Angela Yee and Woody. More speakers are expected to be added.

Commencement will be available on iHeartRadio and other podcast platforms. The speeches will also be featured on iHeartMedia radio broadcasts.

This article originally appeared on The Hollywood Reporter.

THE BILLBOARD BIZ
SUBSCRIBER EXPERIENCE

The Biz premium subscriber content has moved to Billboard.com/business.


To simplify subscriber access, we have temporarily disabled the password requirement.