Home Entertainment company ‘Juneteenth A Global Celebration for Freedom’: How to watch and who’s performing

‘Juneteenth A Global Celebration for Freedom’: How to watch and who’s performing


The event commemorates the emancipation of slaves in the United States and aims to educate viewers about the federal holiday enacted by President Biden last year.

Concert artists will include Chaka Khan, Khalid, Yolanda Adams, Jill Scott, Anthony Hamilton, Billy Porter, Debbie Allen Dance Academy, Earth, Wind & Fire, Jhené Aiko, Killer Mike, Lucky Daye, Mary Mary, Ne-Yo, Michelle Williams, Mickey Guyton, Robert Glasper, The Roots and Bell Biv DeVoe. 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.

What to expect

The show is produced by creators Shawn Gee of Live Nation Urban and Jesse Collins Entertainment. Gee spoke to CNN in an interview on Thursday and explained how the show came to be.

“CNN and Live Nation had a big event called ‘NYC Homecoming Concert’ and the corporate relationship was formed at that event, and so CNN came back and said we wanted to do something around Juneteenth – big and bright and strong. Within Live Nation, Live Nation Urban is really the one that’s focused on black culture, so when the call came to the company, they ran the CNN team to me and they got says if you want to do something big, you have to do it with Shawn.

As for the location? “Similarly, I got a call from the Hollywood Bowl the year before and we couldn’t do it because of the short time frame, but I was able to marry the two ideas.”

Gee said the show will have many facets.

“We chose a group of artists who represent various genres,” Gee explained. “It’s not just music, there’s also narrative parts. We’re featuring different people who were pivotal in making this a federal holiday. The third thing is we’re going to make sure that people know the fight is not over.”

If you log in, you’ll also see former first lady Michelle Obama deliver special remarks. Famous presenters include Debbie Allen, Team USA gymnast Jordan Chiles, actors Michael Ealy, Gabourey Sidibe and Kendrick Sampson, comedians Leslie Jones and Lil Rel Howery, and ABC’s “Black-ish” stars Deon Cole, Marsai Martin and Miles Brown.

How to watch

The evening kicks off with a pre-show hosted by CNN’s Don Lemon at 7 p.m. ET, followed by the concert at 8 p.m. ET. The event will air on CNN and stream live for pay-TV subscribers via CNN.com and CNNgo where available.