Essence hosts the party, legend after legend wows the crowd, and Maze closes the show. See our music legacy, from Mary and Erykah to the O’Jays and D’Angelo
By Charreah Jackson
Essence Music Festival: A Photo Retrospective
Everybody knows ain’t no party like an Essence party. Fourteen years ago, ESSENCE, the lifestyle magazine for Black women, launched a one-time celebration to commemorate our 25th anniversary—the Essence Music Festival. Since then, the annual megashow has been hailed as one of the country’s “Top 10 Leading Brand Events,” by Advertising Age and become a cultural staple in New Orleans. The event has come to mean even more to Essence and the resilient people of the city in the post-Hurricane Katrina years. This year, we celebrate the 14th Annual Essence Music Festival presented by Coca-Cola. Thousands are scheduled to attend the three-day event (July 4 through 6) of superstar performances (Patti LaBelle, Rihanna, Jill Scott) and empowering seminars (Bishop T.D. Jakes, Tyler Perry).
In 2004, the O’Jays rocked the Essence Music Festival, singing timeless classics such as “For the Love of Money.”