Celebrating Black Music Month: New Music From Elle Varner & More News From Our Fave Artists

Find out what your favorite musicians and ESSENCE FEST alums are doing in today's Black Music News.

Gia Peppers Jun, 04, 2015

1 of 5 Instagram.com

Elle Varner released "Birthday" featuring "Power" star and rapper 50 Cent on June 4-- one month before her ESSENCE FEST return.  The new song brings a new edge to the New York bred singer, as she sings about gifting her man on his birthday over a bass heavy, hip hop beat.

Listen to the song on her Soundcloud. 

2 of 5 Brad Barket/Getty Images

The incomprable Chaka Khan performed at "Celebrate Brooklyn!" 2015 Opening Night Gala at Prospect Park Bandshell in New York City.  According to tweets and Instagram videos, she performed all of her hits including "Sweet Thing."  Looks like the ESSENCE FEST alum is still killing the stage.

3 of 5 Getty Images

They say you can't choose your family but if you're Taraji P. Henson, maybe you can. The Empire star knows exactly who she wants to play her parents on season 2 of the hit show. 

“My wish would be for Diana Ross and Billy Dee Williams to play my parents,” she said. “I have no idea [who it will be]. I want Oprah too. I want the world! I want everyone on the show. Bill, Hillary [Clinton]—come on! Everybody!” We hope you get your wish, Taraji! [Huffington Post]

4 of 5 Getty Images

Legendary artists Lauryn Hill, Grace Jones, Lenny Kravitz and Kelis will take the stage at this year's Afropunk Festival. The festival, themed "Revival," will take place August 22 to 23 in Brooklyn, New York. If you can't get a ticket, don't worry. Fans have an opportunity to volunteer for the festival in exchange for a ticket. Get more information here.

5 of 5 Michael Rowe

"Turn The Lights On" singer Rico Love remade SWV's classic 90s R&B hit, "Weak," from the perspective of a man to encourage other guys to be vulnerable, especially when they are with the women they love.

Listen to it, here.