Doors opened and the room at Republic NOLA quickly filled with Black women ramp with anticipation for performances from some of the most revered voices in R&B for ESSENCE After Dark Ladies’ Night.

Following a warm hometown welcome from Entrepreneur, Reality TV Personality, Author and proud NOLA native Toya Johnson, Singer James Wright Chanel opened the show styled in sequins and shining—literally and metaphysically. James expressed gratitude to open for the veteran signers and take part in the joy of ESSENCE.

“As Black people, we are so, so creative. And, I just feel like it gets no better than Black. I am so proud of Black people, and it just brings me joy to see my black people doing something positive,” James said in an interview after his performance.

Soon after, vocal powerhouse Tamar Braxton hit the stage to belt out a few of her hits and fan favorites including “All The Way Home” and “Prettiest Girl.” Of course, you know she couldn’t leave without showing the crowd a little bit of love. “I love y’all so much,” she said. “Baby, I am in these streets, honey. I’m outside, I’m outside. It’s called Bourbon Tamar Braxton Street.” Tamar pays tribute to, in her words, “my baby daddy” and brings Vincent Herbert on the stage, thanking him for being a big part of her career.

The Mics Were ON: Xscape, SWV & Tamar Braxton Took Us To R&B Heaven During Night 2 Of ESSENCE Fest After Dark – Music
2022 Essence Festival of Culture held in New Orleans, Louisiana – July 1 – 3, 2022

SWV made their way to the stage next and the crowd was taken to church. After keeping hits coming throughout their set, by the time they performed their iconic single “Weak,” the trio had the entire audience singing along like they too were sisters with voices.

The Mics Were ON: Xscape, SWV & Tamar Braxton Took Us To R&B Heaven During Night 2 Of ESSENCE Fest After Dark – Music
2022 Essence Festival of Culture held in New Orleans, Louisiana – July 1 – 3, 2022

Closing out the night was XSCAPE, who shut the stage down in bedazzled and fitted ensembles giving niece-okay! IYKYK. It’s no little secret that XSCAPE sent the girls (and everyone else at Ladies’ Night) home filled with joy and pride.

Scroll through the images above for more highlights from Ladies’ Night at ESSENCE After Dark.

For more of everything you missed at the 2022 ESSENCE Festival of Culture, visit our official content hub HERE.

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