Maren Morris, Bon Jovi, Snoop Dogg, More Join ‘Play On’ CBS Benefit Concert Special

Variety Staff
·3-min read

Maren Morris, Bon Jovi, Snoop Dogg, are among the artists who will perform at a one-hour concert special called “Play On: Celebrating the Power of Music to Make Change,” to be broadcast Saturday, Dec. 5 at 9 p.m. ET/PT. The benefit concert special will raise funds for the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, and WhyHunger, through the Play On fund created by Sixdegrees.org, by amplifying awareness for transformational racial, social and food justice. During the broadcast, viewers can donate to the organizations by texting the code “PLAYON” to 44-321.

Andra Day, Jon Batiste, Machine Gun Kelly, Sheryl Crow, Slick Rick, the Highwomen, Yola and Ziggy Marley were also among the first-announced artists, with more TBA.

The concert, which will be staged a several iconic venues across the country, will be broadcast on CBS and stream live on CBS All Access, and available on YouTube after the initial broadcast. Participating venues include the Apollo in New York’s Harlem neighborhood, the Troubador in Los Angeles and the Bluebird Café in Nashville.

“Play On’ be hosted by Golden Globe Award-winning actor Kevin Bacon and Grammy-winning rapper-actress Eve. The show is executive produced by Bacon, designer John Varvatos, Rock the Bells founder and CEO LL Cool J, “CBS This Morning” anchor Anthony Mason and benefit-concert producers Greg Williamson and Nicole Rechter. Veteran musician and producer Steve Jordan will serve as music director.

Bloomberg Philanthropies is a supporter of “Play On,” the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. and WhyHunger as the Title Sponsor for the New York City lineup. Additional Nashville and Los Angeles sponsors will be announced shortly.

“Music has historically served as a powerful and vital soundtrack for social change and a platform to unite people and make an impact for those in need,” said executive producer John Varvatos. “By bringing together this outstanding array of performers, we hope to raise awareness and funding for the very important work that both the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund and WhyHunger do every day, and inspire viewers to continue to support these organizations.”

“2020 has been an immensely challenging year, and many have turned to music as a great source of comfort, hope and strength,” said co-host and executive producer Kevin Bacon. “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.”

“I’m so excited to be joining Kevin Bacon in co-hosting CBS’ ‘Play On’ television special this coming December! 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 Fund and Sixdegrees.org,” said co-host Eve. “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.”

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