Not only will we be celebrating the 40th anniversary of ESSENCE magazine at this year’s ESSENCE Music festival, but we will also salute the 40-year career of the legendary group Earth, Wind & Fire. “We’re honored that ESSENCE and Earth, Wind & Fire share the same anniversary,” said Philip Bailey, leader and co-founder of Earth, Wind & Fire. “Together, we have both been jammin’ for over 40 years! Get ready, ’cause we are going to celebrate this summer at the ESSENCE Music Festival.” Also on the bill is nine-time Grammy-winning singer Mary J. Blige, who is the official spokesperson of the 16th annual festival of entertainment and empowerment, happening this July 4th weekend in New Orleans. The list also includes R&B singer Gladys Knight, new artist Keri Hilson, Jill Scott, Raphael Saadiq, Charlie Wilson, De La Soul, Chrisette Michele, Joe, Laura Izibor and Melanie Fiona. For more information on the ESSENCE Music Festival, click here.