With the coronavirus pandemic sidelining in-person graduation celebrations, YouTube’s star-studded Dear Class of 2020 livestream on Sunday (June 7) helped fill in the gap for students graduating this year.
Finneas, Grammy-winning brother of Billie Eilish and solo artist in his own right, joined forces with Camila Cabello, Noah Cyrus, Cynthia Erivo, Khalid and many others to deliver a rendition of U2’s “Beautiful Day” during the livestream.
Prior to the Finneas-produced cover, U2 frontman Bono himself sent in a video message about the times we’re enduring. “As an Irishman, I’ve always believed America is not just a country but an idea and a dream that belongs to the whole world,” Bono said. “I know in recent times the world has been reminded that America is an idea that doesn’t even belong to a lot of Americans. For many black Americans, Lady Liberty’s torch is far from a beacon of hope — it’s often a flashlight in the face.” He went on to explain that “Beautiful Day” wasn’t so much written about a wonderful day happening right now, but the idea of a better time that’s yet to come – “a prayer for where we could go.” And with that in mind, he regards it as a rallying cry fit for now.
Finneas clearly felt the same way, as did the roster of musicians he tapped for his touching rendition of the U2 classic. Sending in video footage from home and home studios, Tove Lo, Ty Dolla Sign, Leon Bridges, Khalid, Camila Cabello, Ben Platt, Cynthia Erivo and Chris Martin lent their distinctive pipes to a quietly optimistic take on the tune.
Watch it below.