Fantasia, Aretha Franklin, Stephanie Mills Set for Essence Music Festival
This year's theme is "The Power of Our Voice" -- whether through song, the political arena or community organizing.
Performances will take place in the Louisiana Superdome, with festival headliners to feature Broadway veterans Fantasia and Stephanie Mills, as well as Mary J. Blige and Charlie Wilson.
Among the other acts will be Keyshia Cole, Ledisi, SWV, Dru Hill, Raheem DeVaughn, Estelle, Goapele, Vivian Green, Kindred the Family Soul, Luke James, Eric Roberson, The Stylistics, Big Sam's Funky Nation, Bridget Kelly, The Original Pinettes Brass Band, The Stooges Brass Band and Khris Royal & Dark Matter.
Speakers during the weekend will include Steve Harvey, Rev. Al Sharpton, Rep. Maxine Waters and Dr. Steve Perry.
The weekend will culminate with a rousing All-star Gospel tribute honoring gospel mega-stars Fred Hammond and Mary Mary.