On Dec. 15, CBS will air the one-hour special Play On: Celebrating the Power of Music to Make Change, set for 8 p.m. CT and also available via streaming on YouTube at 10 p.m. PT that evening.
Kevin Bacon and Eve will co-host the event, which is executive produced by Bacon, John Varvatos, LL Cool J, Anthony Mason and concert event producers Greg Williamson and Nicole Rechter. Musician/producer Steve Jordan will serve as music director.
The show will celebrate iconic music venues, with the Bluebird Cafe hosting performances from Maren Morris and Sheryl Crow, as well as Yola performing “Hold On” featuring The Highwomen‘s Morris, Brandi Carlile, Natalie Hemby and Amanda Shires.
The Troubadour in Los Angeles will host Gary Clark Jr., Ziggy Marley with Andra Day, and a tribute to the classic roots of hip-hop, featuring Slick Rick and Snoop Dogg. New York City’s The Apollo will host Machine Gun Kelly and Jon Batiste. The show will also feature a performance from Bon Jovi.
The concert will raise funds for the NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund, as well as WhyHunger, via the Play On Fund created by SixDegrees.org.
“Music has historically served as a powerful and vital soundtrack for social change and a platform to unite people and make an impact for those in need,” said executive producer Varvatos. “By bringing together this outstanding array of performers, we hope to raise awareness and funding for the very important work that both the NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund and WhyHunger do every day and inspire viewers to continue to support these organizations.”
“2020 has been an immensely challenging year and many have turned to music as a great source of comfort, hope and strength,” said co-host and executive producer Bacon. “I am so thrilled to be teaming up my philanthropic organization Six Degrees with the respected producers and artists who have signed on for this remarkable night of music to help amplify these important issues and bring some much-needed joy through music.”
“I’m so excited to be joining Kevin Bacon in co-hosting CBS’ PLAY ON television special this coming December! It’s been a really challenging year for everyone, and it’s time we continue to support social, environmental, racial and economic justice with the help of WhyHunger, NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund and Sixdegrees.org,” said co-host Eve. “Also supporting iconic music venues from New York City, Nashville, Los Angeles and myself hosting live from London! I can’t wait to raise money, make a change, and bring people some really incredible live music”
“It has never been more important for us to use our platform, voices and stages to assist with the fight for social change and justice,” said British singer-songwriter Yola. “I am honoured to be joining this line-up to highlight the important work of WhyHunger and the NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund.”
“Since the onset of COVID-19 in March, and over the course of the past eight months, it became clear to us that we needed to act and step up in support of racial and social justice and the hunger crisis this country has been facing,” said executive producer Greg Williamson. “We felt strongly that the healing power of music was this project’s mission and calling. Music, bringing people together and helping others during a time of need is what PLAY ON is all about.”
PLAY ON: Celebrating the Power of Music to Make Change is being made possible by many generous partners. Hard Rock International and Ford Foundation have partnered to support PLAY ON along with many others including Frito-Lay, Mary Kay Inc, GNF Marketing, Unqork, The Krim Group and Media sponsors include Rock the Bells, Condé Nast and YouTube.
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