A+E Networks, iHeartMedia, and a slew of top musicians are teaming up for a televised concert dedicated to racial progress in America.
The two-hour show — inspired by the tragic church shooting in Charleston, S.C. — will air across the entire A+E Networks portfolio, including A&E, History, Lifetime, H2, LMN and FYI, as well as on iHeartMedia broadcast radio stations nationwide and the iHeartRadio digital platform.
Zac Brown Band, Eric Church, Jamie Foxx, Rhiannon Giddens, Tori Kelly, John Legend, Miguel, Pink, Jill Scott, Ed Sheeran, Sia, Bruce Springsteen, Sting, and Pharrell Williams are among the early concert performers’ list.
The event promises some once-in-a-lifetime duets between those big names. More performances will be announced soon.
Immediately afterward, one-hour special “Shining a Light: Conversations on Race in America” will run, featuring artists engaging a diverse group of residents in local communities at the center of the national conversation on racial inequality and violence, including Charleston, Baltimore, Chicago and Ferguson.
Musicians, including Williams and Legend, will spark solutions-focused conversations with community members with varying perspectives, as well as organizations seeking to empower communities by fostering understanding, eliminating bias and addressing inequities that break along racial lines, per A+E.
The whole televised evening kicks off on Friday, Nov. 20 at 8 p.m. The concert is being recorded two days prior at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles.
The concert and its ancillary programming will help raise money for the Fund for Progress on Race in America powered by United Way Worldwide.
Additionally, A+E has made a commitment to produce an ongoing series of roundtable discussions in communities across the country to bring people together to address the impact of racial inequity and bias, the networks group said. It will bring together local and national speakers to address the power of unity and the detrimental impact of hate on our nation. A+E will also produce a series of PSAs to air across all platforms.
“Shining a Light: Conversations on Race in America” is produced by Lincoln Square Productions and Ken Ehrlich Productions in conjunction with A&E Network and iHeartMedia.
For Ken Ehrlich Productions, executive producers are Ken Ehrlich and Rac Clark; producer is Renato Basile; writers are David Wild and Phil Gallo; Director is Leon Knoles. For Lincoln Square Productions, senior executive producer is Jeanmarie Condon; executive producer is Roxanna Sherwood.
For A+E Networks, executive producers are Paul Buccieri, Rob Sharenow, Elaine Frontain Bryant, Shelly Tatro and Dan Silberman.
“As a global media company, A+E Networks has the privilege of being invited into the homes of millions of Americans every day and believe that it is our responsibility to use this incredible platform to inform as well as entertain,” said Nancy Dubuc, president and chief executive officer of A+E Networks. “By shining a light on the uncomfortable truth that racial inequity and bias still impact our society, we are looking to inspire people to go beyond short-lived, symbolic gestures.”
“The current racial situation in America is at a critical point,” added Ehrlich. “Today’s musical artists, much like those of the civil rights movement’s history, have strong feelings about what’s going on today, and we’re hopeful that ‘Shining a Light’ does, in fact, give a voice to their concerns, their hopes, and their thinking about solutions to the alarming events that we see around us every day.”
“We’re delighted to play a role with these amazing and committed artists to support such an important event for the benefit of our communities across America,” said Rich Bressler, president, chief operating officer and chief financial officer of iHeartMedia, Inc.