Throwback Thursday: ESSENCE Festival 2016 Artists' Past ESSENCE Covers

Whether headlining their own show or dropping gems on the empowerment stage, you don't want to miss these dynamic former cover stars at this year's ESSENCE Festival. 

Bené Viera Jun, 09, 2016

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Whether headlining their own show or dropping gems on the empowerment stage, you don't want to miss these dynamic former cover stars at this year's ESSENCE Festival. 

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It's not much of a throwback because “Rise Up” singer Andra Day is still riding high from her very first ESSENCE cover for the June 2016 issue. The Cali native opened up about failure and the inspiration behind her Cheers to the Fall album. Her soulful voice will be on full display at ESSENCE Festival 2016.

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Are your ready for this sermon of wisdom, beloved? Whatever Iyanla Vanzant decides to say on the ESSENCE Empowerment Experience stage she's certainly not going to bite her tongue. In her February 2013 ESSENCE cover story she shared gems on how to find a lasting joy. Maybe in NOLA she'll tell us all to keep the year of the Black girl streak going.

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Happiness looks good on Ciara and what better way to capture that happiness than in her first ESSENCE cover for the May 2016 issue. To top off her epic glow up she will headline ESSENCE Fest this year. We've got our "Body Party" moves ready to go.

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Gifted filmmaker Ava DuVernay is going to give us life at this year’s ESSENCE Festival on the Empowerment Experience stage. DuVernay is constantly championing Black folks so anything she shares will be a treat. Her May 2015 ESSENCE cover with Debbie Allen, Shonda Rhimes, Mara Brock Akil and Issa Rae is still a sight of glory. 

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Cookie Johnson has been by her husband's side holding things down for 25 years. Cheers to twenty-five years of Black love! Her 2002 cover with Magic explained why she stayed, and in her upcoming book, Believing in Magic, she shares even more. Wonder what she'll say at Festival. 

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It’s the legendary Mariah Carey’s first ESSENCE Festival. Imagine the possibilities, the hits! Over a decade ago (April 2005) ESSENCE told the Mariah Carey story only we could: “America’s Most Misunderstood Black Woman.” That was then. And now? It's all about the music. Let the countdown begin. 

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Puffy Daddy & the Family at ESSENCE Festival is going to be epic. And our favorite 90s female rapper will be in the building hopefully doing “Crush On You” and her verse on “It's All About the Benjamins.” This gorgeous vintage ESSENCE October 2000 cover reminds us of how blessed we will be to take a trip down memory lane with the Queen Bee. 

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“The Real” takes on NOLA with a live taping of the Emmy-nominated talk show. Tamera Mowry-Housley's fun banter with Tamar Braxton will be missed, but we have faith Tamera will represent for the inseperable duo. Speaking of duos, before her budding friendship with Tamar there was her BFF twin sister Tia Mowry-Hardrict. How cute are they on the April 2013 cover?

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What a time to be alive when a Black girl ballerina can grace the cover of ESSENCE

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Now this is a throwback! This Bestselling author has been churning out classic novels since 1990. At ESSENCE Festival this year she’s speaking on a panel titled “Who Asked You?” named after her 2013 novel of the same name. Doesn't the name of the panel alone make you want to attend?

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A lot has changed for mogul Tyra Banks since her February 2008 ESSENCE cover. She's added more businesses to her name, a Harvard business certificate and she's now a mommy. In a perfect world she'll reveal to us how to be Black girl bosses during her talk at ESSENCE Fest this year. Because who couldn't use a couple tips on running a multimillion dollar empire?