Take a look back at last year's blessings.
With Independence Day as its backdrop, there was plenty to celebrate at last year's ESSENCE Music Festival in New Orleans.
Thousands gathered for an All-Star Gospel Fest which honored Kirk Franklin, Pastor Shirley Caesar, and Bishop Paul and Pastor Debra Morton and featured stellar performances from Marvin Sapp, Mary Mary, The Clark Sisters, Tye Tribbett, Juanita Bynum, Brian Courtney Wilson, Ted Winn, Karen Clark Sheard and so many others.
The event kicked off with a special brunch that paid tribute to General Kip Ward and his wife Joyce for their selfless service to the community and country. The couple's tribute included a special performance by Ledisi. The gospel tribute, which was free and open to the public, marked the perfect ending to the weekend, leaving all in attendance elevated.