PLAY ON: Celebrating the Power of Music to Make Change Raises More Than $7 Million

(PRNewsfoto/PLAY ON)(PRNewsfoto/PLAY ON)


Celebrating the Power of Music to Make Change

Powerful Primetime Broadcast Concert Special

Hosted by Kevin Bacon and Eve December 15 on CBS

Raises More Than $7 Million to benefit the NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund, Inc. and WhyHunger

Exciting Musical Performances Included

Bon Jovi, LL COOL J, Ziggy Marley, Maren Morris, Sheryl Crow, Jon Batiste,

Sara Bareilles, Emily King and More

L-R: Ziggy Marley (Erik Voake/CBS); Jon Batiste, Emily King and Sara Bareilles (Michele Crowe/CBS)

December 18, 2020 – New York, NY – On Tuesday night December 15, music fans tuned in to an extraordinary benefit concert broadcast amplifying awareness for transformational racial, social and food justice, PLAY ON: Celebrating the Power of Music to Make Change. The memorable primetime one-hour special, which was co-hosted by Golden Globe-winning actor, musician, philanthropist and Founder of Sixdegrees.Org Kevin Bacon and Grammy Award-winning rapper, actress and current “The Talk” host Eve, aired on CBS, as well as on CBS ALL Access and SiriusXM’s The Pulse (ch. 15), and fans who missed the memorable musical night can now stream PLAY ON on YouTube.

PLAY ON has helped to raise more than $7 million to benefit the NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) and WhyHunger, through the Play On Fund created by SixDegrees.Org. Donations came through sponsors,generous viewer donations during the broadcast, as well as from additional donations actively coming in from YouTube with their premiere of PLAY ON immediately following the CBS broadcast. Fans can also continue to support the Play On Fund by participating in a celebrity auction where they can bid on exclusive experiences, art and memorabilia from members of the Play On family, with more info available at

“Together, we raised $7.3 million in order to amplify the work of WhyHunger and the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund,” said Stacy Huston, Executive Director of SixDegrees.Org. “We are thrilled with the response to the PLAY ON benefit concert specialWe wanted to end the year amplifying the most pressing issues we face as a nation. Many of the songs spoke about justice and this powerful show left us all more hopeful. We are so proud of the work that everyone involved has done to generate awareness for these organizations.”

The incredible special included stellar artist lineups spanning musical genres at iconic music venues in New York City, Los Angeles and Nashville. The famed Troubadour in Los Angeles featured dynamic performances by Gary Clark Jr., Ziggy Marley with Andra Day, and LL COOL J featuring DJ Z-Trip. The legendary Apollo Theater in New York City featured electric performances by Machine Gun Kelly, Jon Batiste with Sara Bareilles, Emily King, Pedrito Martinez and Steve Jordan, along with a special video performance from Bon Jovi. The historic Bluebird Cafe in Nashville showcased inspired performances by Maren Morris, Sheryl Crow and Yola joined by The Highwomen and Sheryl Crow. Special appearances were also made by Bruce Springsteen, John Legend and Ringo Starr.

To hear more from Sherilynn Ifill and Noreen Springstead, the women who are leading LDF and WhyHunger, please watch their extended conversation highlighted during PLAY ON here. In case you missed any of the memorable PLAY ON music moments, you can watch Ziggy Marley and Andra Day here and Jon Batiste with Emily King, Sara Bareilles, Steve Jordan, Pedro Martinez, Meshell Ndegeocello and Chris Bruce here.

PLAY ON was executive produced by Kevin Bacon, iconic international fashion designer John Varvatos, Rock the Bells founder and CEO LL COOL J, esteemed CBS This Morning anchor Anthony Mason, and prominent benefit concert producers Greg Williamson and Nicole Rechter. Celebrated Grammy Award-winning musician and producer Steve Jordan served as music director for the concert special.

PLAY ON: Celebrating the Power of Music to Make Change was made possible by many generous partners. Bloomberg Philanthropies is proud to support PLAY ON, the NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund, Inc., and WhyHunger as the Title Sponsor. Hard Rock International and Ford Foundation have partnered to support PLAY ON along with many others including JP Morgan, Frito-Lay, Mary Kay Inc, Southern New Hampshire University, GNF Marketing, Unqork, and The Krim Group. Media sponsors include Rock the Bells, Condé Nast, YouTube and SiriusXM.

About NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc.

Founded in 1940, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) is the nation’s first civil and human rights law organization. LDF has been completely separate from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) since 1957—although LDF was originally founded by the NAACP and shares its commitment to equal rights. LDF’s Thurgood Marshall Institute is a multi-disciplinary and collaborative hub within LDF that launches targeted campaigns and undertakes innovative research to shape the civil rights narrative. In media attributions, please refer to us as the NAACP Legal Defense Fund or LDF. Follow LDF on TwitterInstagram and Facebook.

About WhyHunger

Founded in 1975 by the late musician and activist Harry Chapin and radio DJ Bill Ayres, WhyHunger believes a world without hunger is possible. We provide critical resources to support grassroots movements and fuel community solutions rooted in social, environmental, racial and economic justice. A four-star rated charity by Charity Navigator, with highest ratings for excellence in fiscal management accountability and transparency, WhyHunger is working to end hunger and advance the human right to nutritious food in the U.S. and around the world. 86 cents of every dollar raised goes directly to programmatic work. Learn more at and follow us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

About SixDegrees.Org

Golden Globe-winning actor, musician, and philanthropist Kevin Bacon launched SixDegrees.Org (Sixdegrees) at the 2007 Sundance Film Festival in Park City, UT. The award-winning nonprofit has partnered with institutions like the University of Maryland and Stanford University to launch projects that promote giving for a variety of causes. SixDegrees makes it easy for celebrities to give a small amount of their time and lend their influence for good. The charity has coordinated countless drop-ins and surprise pop-ups to amplify causes with direct impact at the community level. SixDegrees also launches social media campaigns through their initiative “6Tag” which engages celebrities to ignite viral attention and a show of support to our Nation’s most pressing issues. The organization continues to gain involvement from a growing list of stars. Follow SixDegrees on TwitterInstagram and Facebook.


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