Bono Participates in Dear Class of 2020
Original Story by Aaron J. Sams (2020-06-07)
Bono participated in the Dear Class of 2020 special, through the YouTube Originals channel. The special is a virtual commencement celebration to celebrate graduates for 2020, both college and high school seniors. Many graduations were cancelled due to the Covid-19 virus, and this special was oriented towards US graduates, and included speakers such as Barrack and Michelle Obama. The special aired today, June 7, 2020, after a delay from the original planned date of June 6.
Bono was filmed in advance of the special, and it was not a live stream. He was filmed in a relatively dark room, wearing black, and large darkened glasses. He was sitting behind a screen that could be seen in the reflections in his glasses (as well as a couple of windows further off.) The text of what Bono spoke can be found later in the article.
VIDEO: Bono’s Introduction and the FINNEAS Remix of “Beautiful Day”
Bono introduced the song “Beautiful Day”, performed by “Finneas O’Connell and some of the most extraordinary voices on the planet.” Bono himself did not perform at all. The song has minimal electronic music playing in the background, with layered voices of Noah Cyrus, Tove Lo, Ty Dolla $ign, Khalid, Leon Bridges, Camila Cabello, Ben Platt, Cynthia Enviro and Chris Martin of Coldplay. While they sang, video of each performer singing could be seen, with overlaid lyrics from the songs, and the name of performers as they first appear. O’Connell is the brother of Billie Eilish, and is a singer, songwriter and producer, working with many artists including his sister.
The full text of Bono’s introduction to “Beautiful Day” is as follows:
“Now I know in recent times the world has been reminded that America is an idea that doesn’t even belong to a lot of Americans. For many Black Americans, Lady Liberty’s torch is far from a beacon of hope, it’s often a flashlight in the face.
Now there were storm clouds over Dublin when U2 recorded “Beautiful Day”, things were not as they might have been. But the song was not a description of where we were at. It was a prayer for where we could go. And a dream…Like America is a dream of what might be. We now know that America is a song, yet to be written. But America might be the greatest song the world has never heard. It’s a wild thought, that America’s yet to exist. And even wilder that the class of 2020 may be the very people to bring it into being.
After 244 years of striving for freedom, sometimes marching, sometimes protesting, sometimes on your knees, sometimes taking the knee. You get there. You get there! I don’t know how, but I know who. You. You can vault the barricades of bigotry. And with your vote, you can dismantle institutions that uphold that bigotry and are in your way. You can enter America. You can enter America. We will all enter with you. But it’s going to be you. That’s going to be a beautiful day.”