Skip to content

Hormel Foods to Host Live Virtual Concert Honoring the Graduating Class of 2020 Starring NBC’s “The Voice” Runner-Up Chris Kroeze and performances by Singing Mayo Doctors Elvis Francois and William Robinson, ABC’s “American Idol” finalist Dillon James, NBC’s “America’s Got Talent” Evie Clair, Ron Artis II and stars from Broadway Sean Yves Lessard, Christopher Henry Young and Ruby Lewis


Austin, Minn.

YouTube livestream event to honor Class of 2020 and 20,000 Inspired People of Hormel Foods

Hormel Foods, a global branded food company (NYSE: HRL), announced today that it will host its third virtual live concert, featuring Chris Kroeze, runner-up on Season 15 of NBC’s Emmy-winning television show “The Voice,” with additional performances from an exceptional slate of talented musicians throughout the event. The show will honor the class of 2020 graduates with ties to the company as well as celebrate the global team of 20,000 Hormel Foods team members.

The concert will take place on the Hormel Foods YouTube channel Wednesday, June 10, at 7 p.m. CDT, and will feature live performances by award-winning global artists Chris Kroeze, Singing Mayo Doctors Elvis Francois and William Robinson, ABC’s “American Idol” finalist Dillon James, NBC’s “America’s Got Talent” Evie Clair, Ron Artis II and stars from Broadway Sean Yves Lessard, Christopher Henry Young and Ruby Lewis. Graduates from around the world and their families are also welcome to join in the celebration.

The live event will also include messages of hope and congratulations from the company’s 16 Hormel Foods Charitable Trust Scholarship winners, which were selected by the National Merit Scholarship organization. Since the scholarship program’s inception, Hormel Foods has provided nearly 500 college undergraduate scholarships to children of Hormel Foods team members, totalling nearly $3 million and serving as a testament to the company’s commitment to education.

Over the last two months, Hormel Foods has held the two virtual concerts with inspiring artists – intended to thank Hormel Foods team members for their continued efforts to provide food to the world during the COVID-19 pandemic. During these concerts, the company has donated to important causes such as Feeding America. During the June 10 live event, Hormel Foods will be focusing on the power of education to change lives, as it celebrates the hope for a new generation of leaders in the class of 2020.

The event will be streamed live on the Hormel Foods YouTube channel and on its Facebook page at 7 p.m. CDT on Wednesday, June 10, at and

About Hormel Foods – Inspired People. Inspired Food.

Hormel Foods Corporation, based in Austin, Minn., is a global branded food company with over $9 billion in annual revenues across 75 countries worldwide. Its brands include SKIPPY®, SPAM®, Hormel® Natural Choice®, Applegate®, Justin’s®, Columbus®, Wholly® guacamole, Hormel® Black Label® and more than 30 other beloved brands. The company is a member of the S&P 500 Index and the S&P 500 Dividend Aristocrats, was named one of “The 100 Best Corporate Citizens” by Corporate Responsibility Magazine for the 11th year in a row, and has received numerous other awards and accolades for its corporate responsibility and community service efforts. In 2016, the company celebrated its 125th anniversary and announced its new vision for the future – Inspired People. Inspired Food.™ – focusing on its legacy of innovation. For more information, visit and

Chris Kroeze

Chris Kroeze’s combination of vocal and guitar skills, along with his humility and small-town country-boy persona, have captured the hearts of millions. The runner-up on Season 15 of NBC’s “The Voice” performs throughout the United States and internationally, including multiple overseas tours each year for U.S. armed forces. Along with headlining the majority of his shows, he’s shared the spotlight with Montgomery Gentry, the Doobie Brothers, Travis Tritt, Blake Shelton and many others stars. A native of Barron, Wisconsin, Kroeze is a longtime friend of Jennie-O Turkey Store and Hormel Foods.

“It’s not fair to the rest of us that you get to sing like that!” – Blake Shelton

Doctors Elvis Francois and William Robinson

Doctors Elvis Francois and William Robinson are orthopedic surgery chief residents at the Mayo Clinic. In 2018, the duo gained national attention for their impromptu rendition of “Alright” performed after a trauma call shift together. Since that time, Francois and Robinson have been featured in Rolling Stone and Fortune and on “The Ellen Show,” “Good Morning America,” “Today” and “The View,” to name a few. Their covers have amassed well over 10 million views on Facebook and Instagram. Now, they are using their music to shine a light on front-line workers and recently traveled to Nashville to record a four-song compilation called “Music is Medicine” to raise money for The Center of Disaster Philanthropy COVID-19 Response Fund. Francois is soon to be off to Harvard’s Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, while his musical partner, Robinson, will head to Jefferson Hospital in Philadelphia.

Dillon James

Dillon James was a contestant in Season 18 of “American Idol.” Hailing from Bakersfield, California, his aquiline and soulful vocals, accompanied by his beloved Taylor K22CE guitar, embody the simple yet powerful sound made famous by such local legends as Buck Owens and Merle Haggard. James has been dubbed “the Post Malone of Country,” a nod to his love of tattoos. He has been very open in sharing his story, in hopes of helping others overcome their struggles. In a shining emotional moment, James performed Amos Lee’s “Hang On, Hang On,” bringing “American Idol” judge Katy Perry to tears. In his finale moment, James performed “The Times They Are A-Changin’” (Bob Dylan), perfectly symbolizing his own redemption.

Evie Clair

Evie Clair is a musical artist and reality television personality who appeared on the 12th season of the talent competition series “America’s Got Talent.” At just 16 years old, she is a singer, songwriter, pianist and speaker. Evie Clair’s album, “Okay Day,” hit the top 50 on the iTunes pop chart just after her original song “For You” was featured in a movie soundtrack. She has been featured by NBC, Billboard, USA Today, MSN, Fox News, Today, Google, The Washington Post and others. Her first “America’s Got Talent” video posted had the third-highest view count on YouTube for 2018. Evie Clair continues to travel around the world, perform, write music and speak about enduring loss.

Ron Artis II

Ron Artis II is a multi-instrumentalist in a musical family. Born and raised in Hawaii, he started playing music when he was a little boy. His father and mother taught him everything he knows about life and art. Artis has performed and collaborated with Mick Fleetwood, Jack Johnson, Jake Shimabukuro, Booker T Jones and G Love, among others. He speaks and sings from the heart and truly believes in setting a positive and loving example for others by “walking the walk.”

Christopher Henry Young

Broadway star Christopher Henry Young is currently performing in the San Francisco cast of the award-winning “Hamilton.” The Pennsylvania native is best known for his performances on Broadway in “A Bronx Tale.” Other credits include “The Wiz” and “Guys and Dolls” (Oregon Shakespeare Festival). He has also workshopped: “Ain’t Too Proud: The Life and Times of The Temptations.” Young does workshops, seminars and master classes throughout the United States, bringing his experiences and life story to up-and-coming artists.

Ruby Lewis

A star of stage and screen, Ruby Lewis has made headlines in New York, Los Angeles, Las Vegas and throughout the United States as a singer, actress and dancer. She starred in Cirque du Soleil’s Broadway show, “Paramour.” Nominated for an Ovation, she played Betty Hutton and Peggy Lee in “Lights Out: Nat ‘King’ Cole” at the Geffen Playhouse, and she starred as Marilyn Monroe in “Marilyn” at the Paris Theatre in Las Vegas. National tours include: “Gypsy,” “Grease,” “Jersey Boys” and “We Will Rock You.” On TV, you may have seen her on “Girl Meets World,” “Heart of Dixie,” “Desperate Housewives” and “Entertainment Tonight.” She starred in “Love Actually: Live” and became known for the role of Daisy in the critically acclaimed “BAZ: Star Crossed Love.” She performs her own one-woman show, “Blue-Eyed Soul,” across the country and is recording her freshman album.

Sean Yves Lessard

Sean Yves Lessard has an extra connection with the Hormel Foods family, having worked on the launch of the Hormel Vital Cuisine® brand and products. After finishing his master’s degree in fine arts at Harvard University, he moved on to performing in “BAZ: Star Crossed Love,” “Love Actually: Live!,” “High School Musical” and “A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder,” and is currently starring as Stacee Jaxx in “Rock of Ages: Hollywood.”