HIGHLIGHTS
  • Essence Festival >
  • Culture >
  • Speaker Lineup

FESTIVAL SCHEDULE

Empowerment

This event is free
Sunday 10:30AM
Empowerment

Lester Love is the Pastor of The City of Love. He possesses great leadership skills and is widely recognized for his ability to organize a team of people, energize them to accomplish any challenges that are set before them, and provide them with strategies for implementation.

This event is free
Sunday 11:00AM
Empowerment

Charlie Wilson has been heralded as an icon and is sought after by today’s chart topping contemporary artists. He has received multiple accolades during his career including nine Grammy nominations, a BET Lifetime Achievement Award and a Trumpet Award.
 
He has performed his critically acclaimed concerts to sold out audiences both domestically and internationally.  His latest album, "Forever Charlie" confirms that his 2015 Essence Festival performance will be bigger and better than ever.

This event is free
Sunday 01:05PM
Empowerment

Cheryl Wills is a television personality and the author of “Die Free: A Heroic Family Tale.” Cheryl is award-winning anchor for Time Warner Cable’s flagship network, New York 1 News. Cheryl Wills made history as the first journalist invited to speak before the United Nations General Assembly for the International Remembrance of sThe Transatlantic Slave Trade.Cheryl has made cameo appearances in this summer’s blockbuster Spiderman2, Law & Order: SVU, Freedomland, and The Brave One.

This event is free
Sunday 11:55AM
Empowerment

Armed with a remarkable legacy and a powerful musical gift, Dr. Dorinda Clark-Cole has built an iconic career in music and ministry. Having amassed three Grammy® Awards and six Stellar Gospel Music Awards, her fifth full-length solo album “Living It” showcases her renewed grace, her faith-fueled confidence and her ability to overcome insurmountable odds.

LIVING IT is the culmination of this dynamic legend’s testimony firing up listeners’ faith with an immersive spiritual and sonic experience.

This event is free
Sunday
Empowerment

GPY & Church Friends, the house band for the All Star Gospel Tribute, have been featured on TV, movies, and have shared the stage with the likes of Aretha Franklin, Fantasia, New Kids On The Block, and more! "We always somehow ended up together...either performing, supporting each other, or simply as friends. It only made sense to come together, and do what we do best, music..." said George Potts Young, the founder.

This event is free
Sunday 11:25AM
Empowerment

Award winning gospel singer, songwriter, musician and bishop Jason Nelson is one of the most anointed voices in gospel music. Since 2005, Nelson has released three powerful albums that has received critical acclaim from fans and music peers alike. “I Am” the first single from his third album JESUS REVEALED (RCA Inspiration) is currently the #1 gospel song in the country for 15 consecutive weeks. Jason lives in Baltimore with his wife and two children.

This event is free
Sunday 03:00PM
Empowerment

Eight-time Grammy nominated Singer/Songwriter Jazmine Sullivan first hit the scene in 2008 with the release of her debut-hit album Fearless, which spawned hits like “Need U Bad,” “Bust Your Windows” and “Lions, Tigers & Bears.” In 2010, the Philadelphia native released Love Me Back, which produced the chart-topping fan favorite “Holding You Down.” After a three year hiatus, Jazmine returned this year with Reality Show, which debuted at #1 on the Billboard R&B Albums chart and #2 on the Billboard R&B/Hip-Hop Album chart.

This event is free
Sunday 02:20PM
Empowerment

Jessica Reedy, a 5’11 gifted singer, actress and songwriter from Saginaw Michigan, received national exposure in 2009 as the runner up on Season 2 BET’s Sunday Best.  Her signature deep vocal tone is one of the most distinctive voices in contemporary gospel.  She delivers a message of hope and is committed to uplift and encourage in non-traditional venues.

She has appeared on several major television platforms such as BET and CBS’s Christmas Special.

Her sophomore album entitled “Transparent” was released Winter 2014, and debuted #5 on Billboard Gospel Charts.

This event is free
Sunday 03:20PM
Empowerment

Singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Jonathan McReynolds has been wowing the industry and fans since the release of his 2012 debut album Life Music, garnering accolades including Dove and Stellar Award nominations. His upcoming second album includes the singles “Gotta Have You” and “Pressure.” The Chicago native’s songwriting and live performances continue to command attention on stages everywhere especially the Essence Festival, where he will be making his second consecutive appearance.

This event is free
Sunday 02:20PM
Empowerment

GRAMMY® Award and two-time Stellar Gospel Music Award winner Le'Andria Johnson, has taken the gospel scene by storm. As the season three winner of BET's "Sunday Best," Le'Andria went on to release her debut CD, "The Awakening of Le'Andria Johnson," which entered at #1 on multiple music charts. Known for her captivating live performances, the recently signed RCA Inspiration artist is expanding her music ministry and breaking new ground all over the world.

This event is free
Sunday 12:25PM
Empowerment

Award-winning gospel superstar, author, and pastor, Marvin Sapp is set to celebrate his 10th solo album with the release of his highly anticipated new project, YOU SHALL LIVE, on RCA Inspiration (6/2/15). Known for his mega-selling single "Never Would Have Made It”, which held down the #1 spot in gospel radio for almost a year, Sapp is currently touring the country preaching and promoting his new single “Yes You Can."

This event is free
Sunday 01:20PM
Empowerment

Smokie Norful, a multi-Grammy, Stellar award-winning recording artist, world renowned Pastor, educator and visionary who has reached the heights of success in both music and ministry.A career that spans over a decade, Norful now brings his music and ministry efforts towards global humanitarianism. He’s found commercial success with 4 #1 Billboard Albums (I NEED YOU NOW, NOTHING WITHOUT YOU, SMOKIE NORFUL LIVE, FOREVER YOURS) 2M+ albums sold worldwide. Norful is a multiple RIAA certified gold-selling artist.

This event is free
Sunday 01:15PM
Empowerment

29 years of worshipping and praising God seems like a long time. But when it comes to Tyronne G. Foster and the Arc Singers, this choir knows that 29 years don’t add up to all the many blessings God has bestowed upon them. This group has a song to sing about and they don’t mind sharing it with the world.

This event is free
Sunday 03:55PM
Empowerment

Yolanda Adams triumphantly carries the torch for contemporary gospel & inspirational music. With 13 releases Yolanda has earned a multitude of accolades including four Grammy Awards. Not only is Yolanda a phenomenal vocalist, she is also an author (Points of Power), designer of Simply Yolanda Bath & Body Products, record company executive (N-House Music Group), mother, and the host on her award winning nationally syndicated radio show “The Yolanda Adams Morning Show”.

This event is free
Sunday 02:50PM
Empowerment

Born September 17, 1985 in Houston, TX, Cortez hails from a singing family of faith. He began singing at the age of five in church and worked the Texas gospel circuit with his family, The Cortez Singers. Later on, John P. Kee, adopted him as a spiritual son and began mentoring him. For a while, Cortez sang with Kee’s V.I.P. Mass Choir and sang a solo on the CD, Live at the Fellowship, in 2001. This Powerhouse is sure to bring the house down after every performance.

Empower U

This event is free
Sunday
Empower U

Lynnette Khalfani-Cox, The Money Coach®, is an internationally known personal finance expert, and New York Times bestselling author who has written 12 money-management books. Lynnette is the CEO of TheMoneyCoach.net, LLC, a financial education company serving corporations, non-profits and consumers.Lynnette has appeared on The Steve Harvey Show, Oprah, MSNBC, CNN, The Today Show and many more TV programs.Read her advice on numerous sites, including her AskTheMoneyCoach.com blog.

This event is free
Sunday
Empower U

Television host, author and professional matchmaker Paul Carrick Brunson, has become recognized internationally as a successful matchmaker, life coach and TV personality.  Paul is the founder and president of the award-winning matchmaking firm, The Paul C. Brunson Agency.  In 2013, he received an NAACP Image Award nomination for his Amazon Bestselling book, "It’s Complicated (But It Doesn’t Have to Be): A Modern-Day Guide to Finding and Keeping Love."  You can currently find Paul weekly on Our World on TV One.  

This event is free
Sunday 01:30PM
Empower U

Coming Soon... 

This event is free
Sunday 12:25PM
Empower U

Tanisha A. Sykes is a seasoned journalist with 20 years of experience. Known as a personal finance and careers expert, Sykes teaches millions how to achieve financial freedom. The former Senior Editor of Personal Finance & Careers for ESSENCE, Sykes discovered that women, in particular, prosper from step-by-step instruction, expert advice and success stories. With a quick wit and an inspiring tone, Sykes teaches you that when your change your mind, you change your money.

This event is free
Sunday @tlewislee
Empower U

Tonya Lewis Lee is an author, award-winning producer and Chief Creator of ToniK Productions. ToniK’s recent projects include "The Watsons Go To Birmingham," which Lee wrote, and which ToniK produced in conjunction with Walden Media for the Hallmark Channel as well as the film adaption of "The Giver," which ToniK produced in conjunction with Walden Media and The Weinstein Company. ToniK is currently in development on the adaptation of the young adult novels "Monster", by Walter Dean Myers, and "The Gallagher Girls" series, by Ally Carter. Lee is also Founder of HealthyYouNow, an e-commerce site featuring all things related to health, nutrition and wellness.

This event is free
Sunday 01:50PM

Tye Tribbett is one of the most relevant voices of this generation. His music cannot be classified as one genre, but his unique way encompasses all. Tye Tribbett exists as that radical entertainer who is shattering the mold of what is traditionally known as gospel music that reaches the masses. Tye Tribbett’s music has has helped redefine gospel music, and earned him two #1 albums, two Grammy Awards, two Stellar Awards and 1 Dove Award.

Sponsors