Barack and Michelle Obama to Headline YouTube's 'Dear Class of 2020' Graduation Event With BTS, Lady Gaga

Barack Obama Michelle Obama
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Former U.S. President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama close the Obama Foundation Summit together on the campus of the Illinois Institute of Technology on Oct. 29, 2019 in Chicago.

YouTube on Tuesday announced Dear Class of 2020, a virtual commencement celebration honoring high school and college seniors whose graduation ceremonies were canceled due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.

The multi-hour livestream event, set to premiere June 6 on YouTube, will bring together inspirational leaders, stars and creators. Headliners are former President Barack Obama and former First Lady Michelle Obama, who will each deliver commencement speeches — as well as a joint message — to this year's graduates. Additionally, Michelle Obama's Higher Reach initiative will host a full hour of content kicking off the celebration.

Additional commencement speakers include BTS, Lady Gaga, former Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates, CEO of Alphabet and Google Sundar Pichai, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, and Malala Yousafzai. BTS and others will perform at a virtual grad night afterparty.

Dear Class of 2020 will also include appearances from Alicia Keys, Kelly Rowland, Kerry Washington, Chloe x Halle, Zendaya, YouTube creators Jackie Aina, AsapSCIENCE, Dude Perfect, Mr. Kate, And The Try Guys.

"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 Susanne Daniels, global head of content for YouTube. "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."

YouTube's announcement comes after other companies have shared adapted graduation plans due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Oprah Winfrey will deliver the commencement speech at Facebook's livestream event on May 15, while other notable names — including Awkwafina, Jennifer Garner, Lil Nas X and Simone Biles — are also set to speak.

Her Campus — the female-focused company that owns Spoon University, College Fashionista and InfluenceHer Collective — shared on Monday that it is organizing I'm Still Graduating, an online graduation ceremony, to take place May 15 at 12 p.m. ET. Eva Longoria, Radhika Jones, Margaret Cho, Brooke Baldwin, Liam Payne, Jesse McCartney, Andrew Yang and Tamron Hall are set to speak at the ceremony, which will feature speeches, toasts and performances.

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

This article was originally published by The Hollywood Reporter.

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