Over the weekend, YouTube threw a big livestreamed celebration to honor the graduating class of 2020 — the ones who don't have the distinction of an in-person graduation ceremony thanks to COVID-19 and its associated risks with mass gatherings. Lizzo played flute. Beyoncé and Michelle Obama gave inspirational speeches, as did BTS. Dear Class of 2020 was, in fact, a nice event.
Early on in the program, Bono addressed the graduates with a message about the ongoing anti-racial violence protests that have backdropped the country since the police killing of George Floyd on May 25. "For many Black Americans, Lady Liberty's torch is far from a beacon of hope. It's often a flashlight in the face," he said, introducing his band U2's song "Beautiful Day." But it wasn't U2 that performed it.
Instead, Camila Cabello, Noah Cyrus, Khalid, Tove Lo, and others took hold of the sunny alt-rock staple and gave a subdued yet simmering take with plenty of attention given to its hopeful lyrics.
If the song's whisper-quiet production recalls the sonics of Billie Eilish — who doesn't sing on it — that's because production work was helmed by her brother and collaborator, Finneas. (Bono is a fan.) Here, he lets the voices of Cyrus, Tove, Ty Dolla Sign, Leon Bridges, and more work together over the nearly silent midnight sky.
Cabello joins in with Ben Platt and the rest for the chorus, and Cynthia Erivo pops up to lend the post-chorus its own weight as well. Naturally, U2 descendant Chris Martin handles the bridge and leads the group back to the song's belt-ready conclusion.
Watch this all-star squad deliver the song Bono called "a prayer for where we could go" in the video above.