Tentatively titled "Shining A Light: A Concert for Progress on Race in America," the event will take place at Los Angeles's Shrine Auditorium on Wednesday, Nov. 18 and be broadcast across the A&E family of TV networks on Friday, Nov. 20 with radio and digital support from iHeartMedia, the parent company of iHeartRadio. The concert will support the Fund for Progress on Race in America, which is part of United Way.
The lineup announcement made Thursday also includes Ed Sheeran, Sting, Zac Brown Band, Eric Church, Jamie Foxx, Rhiannon Giddens, Tori Kelly, John Legend, Miguel, Pink and Jill Scott. Additional performers will reportedly be announced in the next few weeks.
Rather than the typical concert, "Shining A Light" will see the featured artists join for a series of duet performances, with the focus of the evening on creating reconciliation and positive change in communities nationwide.
In keeping with that concept, A&E's stations - which also include History, Lifetime and the two networks' spin-off channels - will air a one-hour documentary special, "Shining A Light: Conversations on Race in America," immediately following the two-hour concert broadcast.
The network statement explains that entire project was inspired by the tragic shooting at Charleston's Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in June, which left nine people dead, and the response of parishioners at the "Mother Emanuel" church as well as others working for reconciliation and change around the country.
Race relations are one of the hottest issues in the United States right now; just two days ago, Los Angeles Mayor Gil Garcetti had a town hall meeting disrupted by protesters from the "Black Lives Matter" movement. As benefit concerts have been able to affect change in the past - John Mellencamp and Willie Nelson celebrated the 30th anniversary of Farm Aid this year - hopefully this new event will be able to do some good toward getting music fans of all backgrounds to put aside their differences and move forward together.
For more information on "Shining A Light," visit the concert's official page on Facebook.