The ESSENCE Festival has announced the first wave of performers for its 25th anniversary when the three-day event returns to the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans on July 4th-7th this summer.
Main stage performers for this year’s summer event include Missy Elliott, Mary J. Blige, Nas, H.E.R., Jermaine Dupri, Pharrell Williams, and Teyana Taylor. Other other artists set to deliver performances on the main stage include RBRM (Ronny, Bobby, Ricky & Mike), Teddy Riley, and Timbaland. In addition, artists set to perform in the various Superlounges throughout the venue include Alunageorge, Amanda Black, Big Daddy Kane, Biz Markie, Nao, and Talk Box, just to name a few.
The event will also honor the career of MAZE singer Frankie Beverly hosted by Loni Love with special guest sets from Anthony Hamilton, Big Freedia, Doug E. Fresh, Ledisi, MC Lyte, Morris Day, Musiq Soulchild, Shelia E., and more to be announced.
“When the Essence Festival was founded 25 years ago, it marked a pivotal moment of vision and reverence — a critical acknowledgment of an investment in the power of our culture,” Essence Communications CEO Michelle Ebanks added in a statement of this year’s lineup. “In the years since, it has set a standard that many other festivals have aspired to and today, the ESSENCE Festival has grown to represent an annual homecoming for black artists from across the globe. In honor of our 25th anniversary, more than 25 artists per night over three epic nights will come together to mount the world’s largest and most extraordinary cultural celebration.”
Fans can reference the event poster below for the full list of performers announced on Monday, with more to be added onto the lineup in the coming months leading up to summer. Fans can head over to the event website for tickets, which are on sale now.