Friday, July 19, 2024

Usher and Janet Jackson to headline 30th Essence Festival of Culture


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The best of Black culture’s policymakers, thought leaders, creatives, spiritual gurus, business movers and shakers, health experts and, of course, musical talent are poised to converge in New Orleans over the Fourth of July weekend as part of the Essence Festival of Culture.
The festival kicks off onThursday and runs through Sunday. This year, it celebrates 30 years of entertainment, networking and thought-provoking conversations to inspire solutions for issues facing urban communities. The underlying premise remains the same: purposeful partying.
Vice President Kamala Harris is scheduled to hold a conversation with Essence CEO Caroline Wanga during the Global Black Economic Forum on Saturday at the festival. The visit comes amid calls by some for the replacement of President Joe Biden on the Democratic presidential ticket following his debate with former President Donald Trump. “This experience was built to celebrate 25 years of Essence magazine, Black womanhood,” said Hakeem Holmes, VP for the Essence Festival of Culture.
Black women built this festival, Black women poured into this festival. They had a good time at this festival, made relationships and networked.
Since its beginning, the festival has morphed into a multi-generational event that seeks to touch the entire Black family, by offering “a little bit of everything for everyone,” Holmes said.
Much of that transition, Holmes said, is thanks to the city that’s hosted the event every year except one. In 2006, Houston hosted the festival, while New Orleans dealt with the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
Friday night concert inside the Superdome featuring Bryan Birdman Williams and Friends as they, too, celebrate 30 years of Cash Money Records and its Millionaires. Juvenile, Busta Rhymes, T-Pain, The Roots and Mannie Fresh are scheduled to perform.
Usher headlines Saturday and celebrates the 20th anniversary of his Confessions album, which includes hits like Yeah, Burn, Caught Up and Bad Girl. Confessions has sold more than 10 million units in the US.
Janet Jackson is the headliner Sunday, the final night. Victoria Monet, Keke Palmer, Teedra Moses, Tank and the Bangas, Dawn Richard, SWV, Jagged Edge, Bilal and Anthony Hamilton will also perform.
The four-day event will close with the return of the all-white party and a special tribute to Frankie Beverly & Maze, curated by Grammy award-winning producer, Bryan-Michael Cox. (PTI)


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