This year's festival featured performances from Mary J. Blige, Aretha Franklin and more.
The 2012 ESSENCE Music Festival was officially a hit! Some 413,000 people from around the world flocked to New Orleans for the annual four day event, which welcomed performances by Mary J. Blige, Aretha Franklin, Kevin Hart, Trey Songz, Charlie Wilson, Kirk Franklin, D'Angelo, Fantasia and more.
For the first time in 18 years, the Festival put on a fourth day of fun for its youth with its "New and Next" concert featuring young acts like Roshon Fegan, Diggy Simmons, The OMG Girlz, Katlyn Nichol, CoCo Jones and New Orleans' own The Roots of Music.
Other highlights from the wonderful weekend included Vanessa Williams and her mother Helen Wiliams sharing a candid conversation about love, laughter and surviving drama. As well as an all star Gospel salute to Mary Mary and Fred Hammond at the Convention Center on Sunday. That tribute featured Yolanda Adams, Marvin Sapp, Kim Burrell, VaShawn Mitchell and more.
Not to mention, Sunday night's main stage performances closed out the festival with a bang, as Chaka Khan and the R&B Divas Faith Evans, Nicci Gilbert, Monifah Carter, Syleena Johnson and KeKe Wyatt paid tribute to Whitney Houston and Donna Summer, among other fallen singers.
If you loved the 2012 ESSENCE Music Festival, get ready for next year: the 2013 ESSENCE Music Festival will return to New Orleans July 4-7.
See you there!