Photo by OttoKrause/Cristina Coppin

Beyonce, Janet Jackson, Aaliyah & 47 Other Icons You Didn't Know Headlined Essence Festival 

Did you know these amazing artists have graced the ESSENCE Festival main stage?

The 2017 ESSENCE Festival is fast approaching and we've got plenty in store to make this year's experience one you won't soon forget.

ESSENCE Festival 2017 ticket packages are on sale now! For more info about tickets, accommodations and the latest news, visit our Festival page here.

But don't get it twisted, we're not new to this! 

So while you grab your tickets and assemble your squad to get in formation for this year's extravaganza, here's a look back at the many music icons who have blessed the ESSENCE Festival stage over the last 23 years.