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Mary J. Blige, Smokey Robinson, Becky G Sign on for Class of 2020 Graduation Speeches

Mary J BligeMary J. Blige in
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iHeartMedia today announced that Bill and Melinda Gates, Apple’s Tim Cook, singers Mary J. Blige, Smokey Robinson and Becky G, rapper T.I. and actors Freida Pinto, Henry Winkler, Rita Wilson, Tim Cook and Emmy award-winning news anchor Tom Brokaw have joined “Commencement: Speeches for the Class of 2020” podcast event for America’s graduation month, featuring commencement addresses from many public figures.

Previously announced participants include singers Halsey, Kesha, John Legend, Pitbull, Tim McGraw, Khalid, DJ Khaled and Epic Records CEO Sylvia Rhone, along with two-time Olympic gold medalist and FIFA World Cup champion Abby Wambach; cosmetics icon Bobbi Brown; comedian and TV host Chelsea Handler; restaurateur and TV personality David Chang; Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon; NFL quarterback Eli Manning; journalist and NPR correspondent Guy Raz; former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton; award-winning journalist Katie Couric; business leader and Co-CEO of Ariel Investments Mellody Hobson; Coach Mike Krzyzewski; Dr. Oz;; actor Sienna Miller; General Stan McChrystal; MSNBC anchor Stephanie Ruhle.

“Commencement: Speeches for the Class of 2020” will also feature speeches from leading iHeartRadio on air personalities and podcast hosts, including Ryan Seacrest, Enrique Santos, Angie Martinez, Bobby Bones, Jake Brennan, Angela Yee, Woody and J Cruz – each sharing, from the safety of their homes, sage advice, heartfelt stories and words of wisdom aimed at motivating graduates during these unprecedented times.

“The response to ‘Commencement: Speeches for the Class of 2020’ has been amazing and we’re honored to have the opportunity to add even more of today’s most exciting voices to help inspire new graduates,” said Conal Byrne, President of the iHeartPodcast Network. “It’s amazing how quickly this event has come together thanks to the generosity of so many.”

While graduates and families are celebrating this important life milestone, the U.S. Census Bureau is partnering with iHeartMedia for “Commencement: Speeches for the Class of 2020” to remind everyone that responding to the census helps shape your future and that of your community. “Census results inform funding for critical public services including education programs,” explained Michael C. Cook, Sr, Chief of the Public Information Office at the U. S Census Bureau. “Census results are also used by businesses and employers making decisions about where to invest for growth.”

The census counts where everyone in the United States was living on April 1, 2020. It’s easier than ever to respond online, by phone, or by mail.  Listeners are encouraged to visit 2020census.gov to learn more about how and where to be counted.

The podcast will publish the speeches on May 15, ahead of “National Graduation Day” (May 17). The speeches will be produced specifically for the podcast, through the iHeartPodcast Network, and are dedicated to all the graduating classes of 2020 who will miss their commencement celebrations due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The podcast will be available on iHeartRadio and everywhere podcasts are heard.