Little Kids Rock, the national nonprofit on a mission to transform lives by restoring, expanding, and innovating music education in public schools across the country, today unveiled the lineup of honorees and musical guests for its 20th Anniversary benefit taking place May 17 in New York City.

Presented by Hot Topic Foundation, the event will be emceed by SiriusXM Hits1’s host of The Morning Mash Up, Nicole Ryan.

Music Industry Icon Mavis Staples will receive the Peace & Freedom Award at the event. Staples is a Blues and a Rock and Roll Hall of Famer; civil rights icon; GRAMMY Award-winner; chart-topping soul/gospel/R&B pioneer; and a Kennedy Center honoree. She marched with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., performed at John F. Kennedy’s inauguration, and sang in Barack Obama’s White House.

Johnny Rzeznik, best known as the guitarist, front man and a founding member of rock band, Goo Goo Dolls, will be recognized as Rocker of The Year. With 30+ years together as a group, over 15 million albums sold, and 16 Number 1 and Top 10 hits, Goo Goo Dolls remain at the top of their game.
Musical Director Michael Bearden, currently Lady Gaga’s Musical Director, will lead this year’s extravaganza featuring performances by music luminaries:

Darryl McDaniels (Run-D.M.C.)
Warren Haynes (Allman Brothers Band, Gov’t Mule)
Cassadee Pope (The Voice Season 3 Winner)
Jon Secada (2-Time GRAMMY Award Winner)

“We have so much to celebrate after bringing free music lessons and instruments to more than a million students across the country over the past two decades,” said Little Kids Rock Founder and CEO, Dave Wish. “Our growth plans are even more ambitious as we embark on a brand refresh, certify more teachers and engage new partners to support our mission.”

This year’s benefit will take place from 6-10 p.m. at Terminal 5, located at 610 W. 56th St. in Midtown Manhattan. Individual tickets and tables can be purchased at Proceeds from the benefit, which includes a silent auction kicking off May 10 on Little Kids Rock’s website, will help fund future programming, teacher training and instrument donations. For more information, visit

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