Saturday, June 2, 2012

Aretha Franklin Headlining 2012 Essence Music Festival

Aretha Franklin will be one of the headliners at the upcoming 18th Annual Essence Music Festival. The legendary Queen of Soul will be joining a cornucopia of big-name talent at the four-day festival, which is scheduled for July 5-8 (Thursday through Sunday). The event will be held at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana. Franklin is expected to be honored with the first-ever "Power Award" during her festival performance. Some of the other renowned musical artists scheduled to perform at the event include Mary J. Blige, D'Angelo, Charlie Wilson, Fantasia, Stephanie Mills, Trey Songz, Keyshia Cole, Estelle, the Stylistics, Doug E. Fresh, the Pointer Sisters, and a slew of others. The event is being billed as one of the largest gatherings of black artists in the country. As in previous years, the musical performances will be held at the Superdome while seminars with influential speakers, artists and authors will take place at the city's convention center.

Democratic U.S. Rep Maxine Waters of California will be one of the highlighted speakers at the festival. Some of the other speakers will include the Reverend Al Sharpton, author/educator Dr. Steve Perry and comedian/actor Steve Harvey, who's the author of the best-selling relationship advice book Think Like a Man.

The Essence Festival made its debut in 1995 as a one-time event to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Essence magazine, but grew into an annual music festival that celebrates contemporary African-American music and culture. Over the years, the festival has drawn some of the biggest acts in music. Typically the festival's lineup features a mix of iconic music legends, current superstars and talented up-and-comers. Last year, the festival drew more than 422,000 attendees. 

Since its inception, the festival has taken place in New Orleans, except for in 2006 when it was held in Houston, Texas due to Hurricane Katrina. Essence will once again partner with the City of New Orleans to help support initiatives that will benefit its young residents.  For more festival info, visit their website.

No comments: