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Names and faces

by The Associated Press | May 6, 2020 at 3:15 a.m. | Updated May 6, 2020 at 3:15 a.m.
FILE - In this Nov. 9, 2016 file photo, President Barack Obama, accompanied by Vice President Joe Biden, walks back to the Oval Office in Washington, after speaking about the election in the Rose Garden. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

• Former President Barack Obama will deliver a televised prime-time commencement address for the national high school Class of 2020 during an hour-long event that will also feature LeBron James, Malala Yousafzai and Ben Platt, among others. ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC will simultaneously air the special May 16 at 7 p.m. CDT along with more than 20 other broadcast and digital streaming partners, according to the announcement Tuesday from organizers. Several high school students from Chicago public schools and the Obama Youth Jobs Corps will join, as will the Jonas Brothers, Yara Shahidi, Bad Bunny, Lena Waithe, Pharrell Williams, Megan Rapinoe and H.E.R. The event is titled "Graduate Together: America Honors the High School Class of 2020." It's hosted by the education advocacy group XQ Institute, The LeBron James Family Foundation and The Entertainment Industry Foundation. Obama will reflect on the covid-19 pandemic's disruption of school life, especially for seniors who have missed out on their milestone rites of passage. "This high school graduation season will be anything but ordinary -- but that's all the more reason why the Class of 2020 deserves extraordinary advice, heartfelt encouragement, and hard-won wisdom about facing new challenges in an uncertain world," Russlynn Ali, CEO and co-founder of XQ Institute, said in a statement. "We are grateful to President Obama for giving this gift to our nation's three million high school seniors as they #GraduateTogether," she added.

Photo by Invision
Christone "Kingfish" Ingram performs in concert as the opening act for Vampire Weekend during their "Father of the Bride Tour" at TD Pavilion at the Mann on Wednesday, Sept. 4, 2019, in Philadelphia. (Photo by Owen Sweeney/Invision/AP)

• Guitarist Christone "Kingfish" Ingram took home five Blues Music Awards in an online ceremony that featured appearances by Bonnie Raitt, Robert Cray and other musicians. The awards show Sunday was moved online because of the coronanavirus outbreak. The program included performances recorded by nominees at home and flashbacks from past shows, the Memphis-based Blues Foundation said in a release. Ingram won awards for best emerging artist album, best contemporary blues album, and album of the year. He also won two performer awards. The show's host, singer Shemekia Copeland, won in the contemporary blues female artist category. Nick Moss and his band, featuring Dennis Gruenling, claimed three awards and songman Sugaray Rayford took home two, including the B.B. King entertainer of the year award. Blues mainstay Bobby Rush won the soul blues album category. Mavis Staples won the vocalist award. Steve Miller, Steve Cropper, Dion, Steven Van Zandt, Charlie Musselwhite, Ruthie Foster, and Keb' Mo' also made appearances on the program.

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