Chaka Khan is breathing new meaning into her hit "I'm Every Woman" by changing lives, one at a time. The icon and her Chaka Khan Foundation is joining forces with the 2011 ESSENCE Music Festival (got tix?) and the Institute of Women & Ethnic Studies to help those in need. The collective will kick off a life and community-altering transformation process for 50 women in the Greater New Orleans area on June 4, providing structure for each woman to reach her goals with the help of community partners, agencies and mentors.
The countdown to this year's ESSENCE Music Festival is on! (Got tix?) 37 days to go! It's like a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see Mary J. Blige, Kanye West, Jill Scott, Chaka Khan, Trey Songz, Fantasia and New Edition all in the same weekend! But what really has our hearts racing is Usher, who'll be performing on Friday, July 1! OMG! Check out a playlist of our our favorite Usher videos...
Do you want to go to the ESSENCE Music Festival ... for free? Of course you do! Join the "I Go For..." contest where one ultimate fan will win a VIP trip for two to the 2011 Essence Music Festival. So how do you become the ultimate fan? Find out now...
As a group, Boyz II Men have always been there for our romantic moments. This year, the gentlemen are bringing their love language to the ESSENCE Music Festival — got tickets? — and we're giving you a look back at their hits. Motownphilly's back again!
With the likes of Steve Harvey, Iyanla Vanzant, Terry McMillan and others headlining the ESSENCE Empowerment Experience "Weekend of Transformation," it's hard to believe there's more. But, now CNN anchor Anderson Cooper, The View hostess and actress Sherri Shepherd, "Jumping the Broom" star Laz Alonso as well as commentator Sophia Nelson are joining the day of growth.
These days, Eric Benet really has a reason to sing. The R&B crooner recently became engaged to Manuela Testolini, former wife of Prince. But Benet, who'll take the stage during July's ESSENCE Music Festival (got tickets?), said he had no idea about Ms. Testolini's previous husband until an idle trip to LAX. ESSENCE.com spoke with Mr. Benet about falling in love, learning heartbreak's lessons and his biggest new fan, Lil Wayne.
Trey Songz, naked? Trey Songz, clothed? We'll take him either way, especially since he's performing at the 2011 ESSENCE Music Festival (got your tickets?) Fortunately for you, we've pulled together a nice little playlist featuring videos with the Virginia native in various states of undress. We know, you're welcome. Yuup!
It's almost time for Jill Scott to release her new album "The Light of the Sun"! To tide ourselves over until the forthcoming album hits shelves, ESSENCE.com is reflecting on our trip to see the Philadelphia native in concert last year. In 2010, the mother of one opened for Maxwell in Oakland, California and in between her festive costume changes, Ms. Scott gave the audience a few early peaks at her newest baby.
Guess who's coming to the ESSENCE Music Festival? New Edition! Bobby Brown, Johnny Gill, Ralph Tresvant, Michael Bivins, Ricky Bell and Ronnie DeVoe will reunite on stage with the EMF crowd to celebrate their 30th anniversary as a group. This is the first time the guys have performed together since their 1996 album "Home Again." From "Still In Love With You" to "Can You Stand the Rain," it's going to be a party in New Orleans this year!
Charlie Wilson is an American treasure. From his time as the Gap Band's lead singer, boasting hits like "Dropped the Bomb," to his re-emergence as a successful solo artist, he's created a legacy of sweet soul. Dubbed Uncle Charlie by Snoop Dogg, the icon didn't always have it easy. He's fought and defeated drug addiction as well as cancer with the help of his loving wife Mahin and God. ESSENCE.com chatted with the music legend about Kanye West, making a marriage work, and being a Whoopi Goldberg groupie. Now he's hitting the stage at the ESSENCE Music Festival in July --got tickets?
We can't wait to check out New Edition at this year's ESSENCE Music Festival (got tickets?). A few months ago, Bell Biv Devoe hit the stage on "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon" to perform "Poison," and all of that late-1980s/early-'90s goodness came flooding back to us. To get you all in the mood with us, here's a playlist from the fabulous group that introduced us to Ralph, Ronny, Bobby, Ricky, Mike and Johnny.
Miguel is handsome, boasts a sexy tenor voice and has a knack for peering deep into our souls with those eyes. Now his "Sure Thing" single is burning up our playlist, and he'll be performing live during the ESSENCE Music Festival in July — got tickets? The California native chatted with ESSENCE.com about his success, Prince comparisons and those bedroom eyes...
In addition to the ESSENCE Music Festival Main Stage, there's are a bevy of fantastic Super Lounge sets boasting performers we love like Dwele. The Detroit native's falsetto has disarmed us through four albums, including 2010's "W.ants W.orld W.omen." The singer spoke with ESSENCE.com about his upcoming ESSENCE Music Festival performance and whether he and Kanye West will reunite on stage for the duet, "Power..."
From his flawless mane to his singular name, it's clear that Elgin Charles is a man apart. The self-proclaimed "King of the Industry" and father of one is a gentleman and shrewd businessman who's just trying to make everything gorgeous on VH1's "Beverly Hills Fabulous" — and train his stylists up in the way they should go. ESSENCE.com chatted with Mr. Charles about being "Elginized," battling competition in Miami, and if he and ex-wife Jackee are really reuniting...
Chaka Khan EMF 2011 PlaylistEMF Jam SessionFew divas can say they've had as long a career as Ms. Chaka Khan. Born and raised in Chicago, she's given us the confidence to wear afros, halter tops and jaunty hats ("I Feel For You") and now she's also rocking the ESSENCE Music Festival stage this July. In celebration, we've whipped up a Chaka playlist to kick off your week. Chaka, Chaka, Chaka Khan...Tell Me Something GoodThe baseline at the beginning of "Tell Me Something Good" is legendary, not to mention Chaka's sultry lyrics.Through the FireBefore Kanye West sampled this track for his own "Through The Wire," Chaka's original was the go-to slow drag for any house party.I Feel For YouWritten by Prince and originally released on his 1979 self-titled album, Chaka took a shot at "I Feel For You" in 1984. The diva's remake was a success, earning Prince a Grammy the following year.Missing YouRemember the movie "Set It Off"? After the foursome rob the bank, only Jada Pinkett's character rides off into the sunset, then this song plays as the credits roll. tearsSweet ThingChaka's soft "Sweet Thing" is one of the best "I love you" jams to email to your lover during a rough day.Stay"Stay" is a great sing-a-long song, for the shower or a quick car ride. Stay, stay-ay-ay!My Funny Valentine"My Funny Valentine" was a hidden gem on the highly successful "Waiting To Exhale" movie soundtrack.AngelFrom her 2007 comeback album "Funk This," which was produced by Janet Jackson's favorite collaborators Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, "Angel" was a breakout R&B hit.Ain't No BodyDid you know that "Ain't Nobody" was almost a Michael Jackson song? Crazy, right? Quincy Jones wanted writer David Wolinski to give the jam to Mike but he declined.Every WomanFrom the song's empowering lyrics to the multiple Chaka's — literally — in the video, "Every Woman" is an anthem that will always remain in style.
As if his looks aren't enough, rapper-actor Common understands the power of a woman. To that end, the hip-hop legend is hosting a Gala through his Common Ground foundation, which aims to help youth in under-served areas of Chicago and nationally, to celebrate women in excellence and leadership. The event will be held in Common's Windy City hometown and will honor Dr. Maya Angelou, actress Keke Palmer, business executive Dee Robinson Reid and "The View‚" host Sherri Shepherd. ESSENCE.com spoke with the handsome artist about his honorees and how his experiences have shaped his upcoming album, "The Dreamer The Believer..."
If Mary J. Blige and Kanye West aren't enough for you to join ESSENCE in New Orleans, how about a pep talk from Steve Harvey and Iyanla Vanzant? The ESSENCE team is proud to announce the 2011 ESSENCE Empowerment Experience on July 1-3 in New Orleans during the 17th annual ESSENCE Music Festival. Not only is this storied weekend the largest annual African-American event in the world, the ESSENCE Empowerment Experience promises the best intimate moments with artists, experts and speakers at the Big Easy's Ernest N. Morial Convention Center best described as "A Weekend of Transformation."
Last week, soul singer Noel Gourdin debuted the video for his new single "Beautiful" on ESSENCE.com. Today, we've followed up with the Boston native to find out what inspired the song's strong lyrics and what he's crooning about on his new album, "Fresh: The Definition"...