Updated (11/25): LL Cool J featuring DJ Z-Trip, Sara Bareilles, Emily King and Pedrito Martinez have been added to the lineup of Play On: Celebrating the Power of Music to Make Change. In addition, the airdate has also changed: the special now airs Tuesday, December 15th, at 8 p.m. ET on CBS.
Play On’s musical performances will be broadcast from three venues across the country: The Troubadour in Los Angeles, the Apollo Theater in New York City, and the Bluebird Cafe in Nashville. The Troubadour will host Gary Clark Jr. and Ziggy Marley with Andra Day, while Snoop Dogg will perform a tribute to the roots of hip-hop with Slick Rick.
Jon Batiste and Machine Gun Kelly are set to the play the Apollo, with more acts to to be added soon. And the Bluebird Cafe will feature performances from Morris, Sheryl Crow, Yola, and the Highwomen. It’s unclear from where exactly Bon Jovi will perform, as the band’s set is billed simply as an “exclusive performance.”
Kevin Bacon and Eve host Play On, and the show will raise money for the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund and WhyHunger, through its Play On Fund, created by Bacon’s philanthropic group SixDegrees. Viewers will be able to donate to the organizations by texting “PLAYON” to 44-321 during the event.
“2020 has been an immensely challenging year and many have turned to music as a great source of comfort, hope and strength,” Bacon said in a statement. “I am so thrilled to be teaming up my philanthropic organization Six Degrees with the respected producers and artists who have signed on for this remarkable night of music to help amplify these important issues and bring some much-needed joy through music.”
Eve added, “It’s been a really challenging year for everyone, and it’s time we continue to support social, environmental, racial and economic justice with the help of WhyHunger, NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund and Sixdegrees.org. Also supporting iconic music venues from New York City, Nashville, Los Angeles and myself hosting live from London! I can’t wait to raise money, make a change, and bring people some really incredible live music.”
Play On was produced by Bacon, John Varvatos, LL Cool J, CBS anchor Anthony Mason, and benefit-concert vets Greg Williamson and Nicole Rechter. Acclaimed drummer Steve Jordan will serve as the concert’s music director.