WATCH: Beyoncé, Lady Gaga and Michelle Obama congratulate US graduates
Several high-profile celebrities, including Alicia Keys, Lady Gaga, Beyoncé and Shawn Mendes, congratulated this year's high school and college graduates from the United States at an online graduation ceremony hosted by Michelle and Barack Obama.
"You did something remarkable," US singer Alicia Keys said at the spectacle broadcast on YouTube on Sunday, in which all those involved spoke out in pre-recorded video messages.
"It was a hard week, a hard month and a hard year, and I know that right now it doesn't feel like there is much to celebrate. But it's OK if you don't feel OK right now," she said.
Grammy award-winning artist Taylor Swift said an online graduation ceremony amid a pandemic and mass protests against racism and police brutality may not be what the students hoped for.
"But expect the unexpected and still celebrate," Swift said.
Singer Beyonce also congratulated the graduates and said, "you are everything the world needs now."
Beyoncé's inspirational speech to the new generations and the graduates of 2020. 👑 pic.twitter.com/UNywajOFFB— BEYONCÉ LEGION (@BeyLegion) June 7, 2020
Former US first lady Michelle Obama said the US was experiencing an "important transition period."
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So much has changed so quickly. And if any of you are confused, or scared, or angry—or just plain overwhelmed—I just want you to know that you aren’t alone. I am feeling all of that, too. And I tried to put together some of my thoughts—for the #Classof2020 and everyone out there using their voice to fight for justice right now. To anyone out there who feels invisible: Please know that your story matters. Your ideas matter. Your experiences matter. Your vision for what our world can and should be matters. Your anger—that matters too. But left on its own, it will only corrode, destroy, and sow chaos—on the inside and out. Dr. King was angry. Sojourner Truth was angry. Lucretia Mott, Cesar Chavez, the folks at Stonewall—they were all angry. But they were also driven by compassion, by principle—by hope. And if you hold strong with the same faith that carried all those giants before you toward real, measurable progress—you will change the course of history. So what does that mean for our time? If you’re spending a lot of time hashtagging and posting right now, that’s useful, especially during a pandemic. But it’s only a beginning. Go further. Text everybody you know to join you in exercising their constitutional right to protest. Send all your friends a link to register to vote at WhenWeAllVote.org/register. And show up to vote in every election. This is how you can finish the work that the generations before you started. By staying open and hopeful, even through tough times. Even through discomfort and pain. Channel your feelings into activism and into this democracy that was designed to respond to those who vote. #Classof2020, and every one of you out there doing the hard work of progress, you all are exactly what we need right now—and for the years and decades to come. I love you all. I believe in you all. This is your time. @reachhigher @youtube
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"Even in difficult times, you keep giving me hope. Graduates, you are exactly what we need now. You learned so much so quickly, and I know that you can not only do it better than those that came before you - you will."
Watch the full YouTube Originals "Dear Class of 2020" below:DPA