YouTube Originals on Saturday (June 7,2020) launched “Dear Class of 2020,” a series of live speeches by prominent entertainers and business and community leaders celebrating the graduates of 2020, most of whom didn’t experience a formal commencement ceremony because of limits on gatherings created by COVID-19.
The event was headlined by Michelle and Barack Obama, with additional words of encouragement and performances provided by entertainers Beyoncé, BTS, Lady Gaga, Alicia Keys, Kelly Rowland, Kerry Washington, Chloe x Halle and Zendaya as well as Google CEO Sundar Pichai, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and activist Malala Yousafzai, among others.
In her close to 10-minute speech, Beyoncé [Giselle Knowles-Carter] spoke about her decision to strike out on her own and launch Parkwood Entertainment in 2010. She also encouraged graduates to “be about that action and go do it,” and also referenced the criticism she’s been subject to as a popular entertainer.
The 38-year old singer stated, “If you’ve ever been called dumb, unattractive overweight, unworthy, untalented, well so have I. Whatever you do, don’t let negativity of people projecting their own self doubts on you deter you from your focus. I know those moments are painful and you’re human it and it hurts like hell, but now is the time to turn those criticisms into fuel and motivation to become a beautiful beast.”
Check out speeches by Beyoncé, the Obamas and Keys below.