ESSENCE Music Festival

Kanye West Captivates at ESSENCE Music Festival

Kanye West

Kanye West capped off Day 2 of the ESSENCE Music Festival in New Orleans with an unforgettable evening of artistry. ‘Ye, who’s been playing festivals around the world, performed a similar set to Coachella, opening with “POWER” against a Greek art-deco backdrop. Dressed in a white blazer, jeans, and black fringe sneakers, he delivered an epic performance that included ballerinas, lasers, and fireworks. He closed with the emotional “Hey Mama,” leaving over 40,000 concertgoers in the Louisiana Superdome with a deeper appreciation for his musical genius.

According to Ryan Seacrest, a new single from Watch the Throne will arrive by mid-July with the long-awaited album to follow in August. There are also talks of a potential Kanye/Jay-Z tour to follow.

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Usher, Jennifer Hudson, & Fantasia Kick Off ESSENCE Music Festival


Thousands of music fans packed the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans on Friday for the start of the 17th Annual ESSENCE Music Festival. The jam-packed lineup for Day 1 included Miguel, Tank, Charlie Wilson, Jennifer Hudson, Fantasia, and Usher.

“American Idol” alums Hudson and Fantasia shared the bill on the Main Stage. A glammed-up J-Hud delivered material from her latest album I Remember Me, while Tasia kicked off her shoes and took fans to church during her stirring set. ’90s groups Boyz II Men and Dru Hill resurfaced with nostalgic performances that appealed to older festivalgoers.

Headliner Usher closed out the day with his last big show of the year, tweeting, “To everybody that came to the show tonight…much love! I had an incredible time…as I told ya’ll last show this year on that level.”

LeToya Luckett soaked up the soulful sounds with fellow Houstonian Slim Thug and Mary J. Blige was honored for her philanthropic efforts at the 365 Black Awards.

Kanye West will headline tonight and Blige will round out the festival on Sunday.

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Kanye West, Mary J. Blige to Headline ESSENCE Music Festival

Kanye West and Mary J. Blige

Kanye West and Mary J. Blige are headed down south. The superstars have been tapped to headline the 17th Annual ESSENCE Music Festival, taking place from July 1-3 at the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans.

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Video: Janet Jackson, Trey Songz, & LL Cool J’s ESSENCE Performances

Janet Jackson

The ESSENCE Music Festival went down in July in New Orleans, but professional footage of the show has recently become available online. If you weren’t at the Louisiana Superdome, catch Janet Jackson’s much-talked-about headlining set, from her 1989 hit “Rhythm Nation” to last year’s ballad “Nothing.” Trey Songz and LL Cool J provided eye candy for the ladies. The 25-year-old heartthrob made his female admirers sweat with his slow jams, while the original ladies man licked it up with “Doin’ It” and “Rock the Bells.”

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ESSENCE Music Festival 2010 – Day 3: Trey Songz, Mary J. Blige, Jill Scott

Trey Songz

Trey Songz celebrated Independence Day by performing on Day 3 of the ESSENCE Music Festival at the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans. He and Mary J. Blige set off sparks when they dueted on their collaboration “We Got Hood Love.” “Just got off stage wit MjB…life is great!! Happy Independence Day, once again. I’m on cloud 99,” an overjoyed Trey tweeted.

Jill Scott, Earth, Wind & Fire, Estelle, and Melanie Fiona also participated in the final day of the festival.

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Alicia Keys Falls Onstage at ESSENCE Music Festival

Alicia Keys

Alicia Keys may sing about “Fallin’,” but this time she really did it. The pregnant songstress fell backwards while performing “Love Is Blind” at the ESSENCE Music Festival on Saturday (July 3). But Ms. Keys kept it moving, getting right back up and playing the piano. A concertgoer can be heard asking, “Did she mean to do that?” Now that’s when you know you’re a true pro!

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ESSENCE Music Festival 2010 – Day 2: Keri Hilson, El DeBarge, T.I., Trey Songz

El DeBarge and Keri Hilson

Keri Hilson graced the ESSENCE Music Festival stage for the second straight year, singing her own hits and songs on which she’s featured, including Trina’s “Million Dollar Girl” and T.I.’s “Got Your Back.” But the biggest surprise came when she brought out comeback kid El DeBarge to duet on “I Like It” at the Louisiana Superdome.

Alicia Keys, Swizz Beatz, T.I., Trey Songz, Mystikal, LL Cool J, and Gladys Knight also made appearances on Day 2 of the festival in New Orleans.

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