Beyonce rocked the main stage of the Superdome on July 3. The singer also paid tribute to the King of Pop, Michael Jackson, who died a week earlier on June 25, 2009.
2011: Mary J. Blige
Mary J. Blige capped off the 2011 ESSENCE Music Festival on July 3 with a soulful performance of hits like “Real Love” and “Reminisce.” Her performance at the 2012 ESSENCE Music festival will be her 10th.
Maxwell reemerged from a 10-year hiatus to perform at the 2009 ESSENCE Music Festival. Though he kept the audience waiting until the wee hours of the morning on July 5, Maxwell’s set remains one of the most memorable.
His Purple Highness reunited with Time bandmate Morris Day, and protege Sheila E. for what would be a spirited performance at the Superdome Main Stage on July 5, 2004.
2009: Teena Marie
The late Lady Tee ran through hits like “Ooh La La” and Lovergirl" during her show on the mainstage of the ESSENCE Music Festival on July 5, 2009. The performance was her third at EMF.
Once a staple of EMF, Frankie Beverly and Maze, always gave the audience a warm farewell on the last night of the festival. The tradition ended with an all-star tribute to the iconic band on July 5, 2009.
2008: Patti Labelle Tribute
In one of the most memorable EMF moments, LaBelle members Sarah Dash and Nona Hendryx reunited on stage during an all-star tribute to their former bandmate, Patti Labelle, on July 5, 2009. Ledisi, Chrisette Michelle and Angie Stone also paid tribute to Ms. Patti.
2011: Kanye West
West made a triumphant return to the ESSENCE Music Festival on July 2, 2011, performing in front of a breathtaking art deco Greek backdrop. It was his third performance.
2003: Erykah Badu
Brandishing incense and an afro, Erykah Badu’s had her fourth EMF performance on July 3, 2003, shortly before releasing her 3rd album, “Worldwide Underground.”
2011: New Edition
Newly reunited, New Edition (including Bobby Brown) returned to their third EMF appearance for one of the most exciting sets on the main stage of the Superdome on July 3, 2011.
2010: Janet Jackson
Jackson made her ESSENCE Music Festival debut on July 2, running through hits like “Pleasure Principle” (her opener) and “Miss You Much.”
2010: Earth, Wind and Fire
The legendary funk band closed out the ESSENCE Music Festival in 2010.
2001: Destiny's Child
The R&B divas made their EMF debut on July 5, 2001. They would make their final appearance in 2005, shortly before disbanding in 2006.
Usher delivered an hour and a half of number ones during his second EMF performance on July 3, 2011. He also paid tribute to the late King of Pop, Michael Jackson.
2003: Luther Vandross Tribute
Patti LaBelle, Ashanti, Tamia, and Faith Evans perform during a touching tribute to the late Luther Vandross, who was in hospital at the time. He later died in July 2005.