CNN to Live Stream Juneteenth Concert Featuring Jhené Aiko, Khalid, Questlove, Mickey Guyton and Other Black Artists

Juneteenth: A Global Celebration for Freedom will air live worldwide on CNN on Sunday, June 19 at 8 p.m. ET, with pre-show coverage beginning at 7 p.m. ET, including CNN anchor Don Lemon to spotlight African-American advocates, pioneers and creators. It will be streamed live for pay-TV subscribers via CNN.com and CNN OTT and mobile apps under “TV Channels” or CNNgo, as applicable.

“Juneteenth: A Global Celebration for Freedom,” produced by Black creators Shawn Gee of Live Nation Urban and Jesse Collins Entertainment, will celebrate the 157th anniversary of Juneteenth and highlight the ongoing struggle for equality in the Black community.

Juneteenth, or June 19, commemorates the emancipation of slaves in the United States. Last year, President Joe Biden signed a bill establishing it as a federal holiday. Juneteenth gained more recognition from lawmakers and businesses in 2020 as the nation grappled with racism following the death of George Floyd.

Concert performers will include Khalid, Yolanda Adams, Anthony Hamilton, Billy Porter, Debbie Allen Dance Academy, Earth, Wind & Fire, Jhené Aiko, Killer Mike, Lucky Daye, Mary Mary, Michelle Williams, Mickey Guyton, Robert Glasper and The Roots. The Re-Collective Orchestra, an all-black 68-piece symphony orchestra, will also perform.

Oscar-winning director Questlove and Adam Blackstone serve as musical directors for the event.

CNN anchor Don Lemon will kick off live coverage of the event and honor black advocates and pioneers who are on the front lines of the fight for equality.

While commemorating Juneteenth, it’s important to recognize that black Americans still face racism, said Johnita Due, senior vice president and chief diversity, equity and inclusion officer for CNN.

“We knew it was important for our country and important for our audience to shed light on the meaning and significance of Juneteenth, Due said. “And not just as a historic event, but really as a way to engage and educate people about what still needs to happen so that we can all achieve freedom and justice.”

Due said organizers intended to showcase black excellence and include a multi-generational roster of performers who would be able to demonstrate their lived black experiences. The concert will also honor previous June 19 celebrations and draw on traditions to educate people around the world about the significance of the holiday, Due said.

Shawn Gee, president of Live Nation Urban, said the Juneteenth concert would be “the biggest event we’ve ever produced at Live Nation Urban.”

“It’s a time to celebrate and reflect on black independence and the black experience,” Gee said. “It’s also a time to raise awareness and shed light on the miles we still have to go for true fairness. We hope to see you there.”

Corina C. Butler