Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day is one of our favorite days of the year as it brings together two of our favorite things: music and tennis! The event is in celebration of Arthur Ashe, the tennis player and humanitarian who won the first US Open title in 1968. This year was extra special as it’s also the 50th anniversary of the US Open!
On Saturday, current tennis players Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, Madison Keys, Angelique Kerber, and Serena Williams hit the court along with young players from the NJTL and Net Generation. The show also featured performances from some of the hottest rising artists. AAKD has a knack for booking talent before they make it big: past performers include Britney Spears, Backstreet Boys, Rihanna, Justin Bieber, & Demi Lovato just to name a few.
The show was hosted by Skai Jackson and Alex Aiono, returning to Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day for his third time! Echosmith kicked off the show with their hit singles “Cool Kids” and “Over My Head.” In Real Life celebrated their one-year anniversary since they came together on ABC’s “Boy Band” by performing in front of one of their biggest crowds to date! They showed off their moves and harmonies to their new single, “Tonight Belongs To You.”
Djokovic, Nadal, Kerber, and Keys hit the court for a target challenge alongside young player Nicole, representing the NJTL chapter in Silver Springs, MD. Each player had to hit forehands and backhands, as a tally was kept of each target that was hit. Nicole blew the pros off the court and hit more backhands and forehands than any of them! Each player was hitting for a special charity.
Serena Williams hopped on court with a group of lucky Net Generation players! She rallied with some players and even showed off her jump roping skills! This will be Serena’s first US Open since becoming a mother last year and as always she was thrilled to be a part of AAKD!
AJ Mitchell was surprised with the news that he’d be performing at Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day during an interview with Radio Disney’s Morgan, who also co-hosted the show. AJ sang his catchy new song “Girls,” from his new EP “Hopeful.”
Kim Petras’ bubbly pop sound helped keep the party going with her infectious “Heart To Break.”
CNCO performed on the court in perfect boy band formation. They had the crowd moving to their hits “Reggaetón Lento (Bailemos)” and “Se Vuelve Loca.” Their performance definitely earned some of the biggest screams of the day!
All of the performers joined Shine MSD and drama students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on stage for the finale for a special performance of “Shine.” The song has become an anthem for people to spread love and awareness, and that you’re never too young to make a change. It was a fitting end to a day in honor of a man who also worked to share the same message.
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