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"12 Days of…

Dec 19 - 19, 2014
There's holiday fun for the whole family in the historic Warehouse District… more

"Prospect.3: Notes…

Dec 19, 2014 - Jan 25, 2015
Prospect New Orleans, the International Contemporary Art Biennial,  will… more

"The Victory Belles…

Dec 19 - 19, 2014
Our popular, charming vocal trio is in a holiday mood! Come jingle all the way… more

“Dirty Dancing — The…

Dec 19 - 21, 2014
Dirty Dancing - The Classic Story On Stage is an unprecedented live experience,… more

Andrew Jackson: Hero…

Dec 19, 2014 - Mar 29, 2015
THNOC's exhibition tracks Jackson's rise from humble beginnings to immortality… more

Celebration in the…

Dec 19, 2014 - Jan 03, 2015
City Park's annual holiday lighting exhibit and festival returns with one of… more

Christmas in the…

Dec 19, 2014 - Jan 01, 2015
Celebrate the season in New Orleans' historic Warehouse District with dazzling… more

Christmas New Orleans…

Dec 19 - 31, 2014
There's no place like New Orleans for the holidays during Christmas New Orleans… more

Freret Street Puliq…

Dec 19 - 19, 2014
Live performances by Solar Strut plus TJ Sutton. more

Holiday Home and…

Dec 19, 2014 - Jan 04, 2015
Visit the festively decorated residence and courtyard of General and Mrs. L.… more

Music at the Mint…

Dec 19 - 19, 2014
Phil DeGruy, inventor of the Guitarp, combines virtuosity with hilarious… more

NOMA & The NOLA…

Dec 19 - 21, 2014
In December, NOMA's iconic Great Hall will be transformed by The NOLA Project… more

Oak Alley…

Dec 19 - 24, 2014
Tour the historic grounds, Slavery at Oak Alley Exhibit, Civil War Exhibit and… more

Prospect.3 - Basquiat…

Dec 19, 2014 - Jan 25, 2015
Curated by Franklin Sirmans, the Artistic Director for P.3: Notes for Now,… more

Prospect.3 - Keith…

Dec 19, 2014 - Jan 25, 2015
A selection of images from Calhoun and McCormick's extensive body of work on… more

Royal Teddy Bear Tea…

Dec 19 - 22, 2014
Little Princes & Princesses are crowned as they enter into our Magical… more

Self-Processing –…

Dec 19, 2014 - Jan 04, 2015
Before the instantaneous gratification of digital photography there was instant… more

The Gasperi…

Dec 19, 2014 - Feb 22, 2015
Richard Gasperi opened Gasperi Gallery in the French Quarter in 1980.… more

The Irish House…

Dec 19 - 20, 2014
Get ready for a fantastic and magical music performances by The Louisiana… more

"12 Days of…

Dec 20 - 23, 2014
There's holiday fun for the whole family in the historic Warehouse District… more

"12 Days of…

Dec 19 - 19, 2014
There's holiday fun for the whole family in the historic Warehouse District… more

Grammy Award-Winning Superstar USHER Joins the 2011 ESSENCE Music Festival

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Media Contacts:

Dana Baxter, ESSENCE
212-522-1634
dbaxter@essence.com

Sheila Harris, ESSENCE 
212-522-1089
sharris@essence.com

GRAMMY AWARD-WINNING SUPERSTAR
USHER
JOINS THE 2011 ESSENCE MUSIC FESTIVAL
OCCASION MARKS FIRST TIME USHER TO HEADLINE
THE ULTIMATE WEEKEND-LONG EXPERIENCE
CONNECTING MUSIC, CULTURE AND COMMUNITY


(May 17, 2011) NEW YORK, N.Y.—ESSENCE is proud to announce that multi-platinum selling, chart- topping, Grammy award-winning powerhouse USHER will headline the 2011 ESSENCE MUSIC FESTIVAL being held July 1, 2, and 3 in New Orleans. Joining an already stellar, best-in-class line-up that includes Chaka Kahn, Jennifer Hudson, Jill Scott, Kanye West, Mary J. Blige and New Edition, USHER will headline the main stage of the Superdome on opening night, Friday, July 1. Known for his mesmerizing live stage show, intricate choreography and catalogue of Top 40 Hits, USHER will perform an electrifying set, allowing Festival-goers a chance to share their 4th of July weekend with one of the most iconic artists of the decade.

Although the chart-topping recording artist has a long standing relationship with ESSENCE, this year marks the first time USHER will grace the stage as a headliner at the ESSENCE MUSIC FESTIVAL, the largest African- American music and culture event in the U.S. Attracting an estimated 400,000 attendees, the 17th annual Essence Music Festival continues to be the only music and empowerment festival in the U.S., in addition to a hallmark of New Orleans tourism.

“We are honored to bring the incredible USHER to the ESSENCE MUSIC FESTIVAL to headline opening night,” says ESSENCE Communications President Michelle Ebanks. “Fans can look forward to an incredible line-up this 4th of July weekend-- with more than 40 of the world’s best performers on 5 stages – as a once in a lifetime experience!”

Alsoujoining the line-up are Morris Day & The Time, Loose Ends, Noel Gourdin, and Timothy Bloom.

The 2011 ESSENCE MUSIC FESTIVAL night-by-night line-up (updated as of 5/18) is as follows:

Friday, July 1: Usher, Charlie Wilson, Jennifer Hudson, Fantasia, Boyz II Men, Macy Gray, Dwele, Alexander O’Neal and Cherrelle, Mint Condition, Soul Rebels Brass Band, Tank, Miguel, Noel Gourdin, Mavis Staples, Irma Thomas

Saturday, July 2: Kanye West, Jill Scott, Chaka Khan, El Debarge, Eric Benet, Timothy Bloom, Morris Day & The Time, Shamarr Allen and The Underdawgs, Stephanie Mills, Charmaine Neville Band, Naughty by Nature, To Be Continued Brass Band

Sunday, July 3: Mary J Blige, New Edition, Trey Songz, Kem, Loose Ends, Hal Linton, Kourtney Heart, George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic, Rebirth Brass Band, Kelly Price, Vanessa Bell Armstrong, Trin-i-Tee 5:7, Brian Courtney Wilson, MC Lyte, Doug E. Fresh, Hot 8 Brass Band

What began in 1995 as a one-time event to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of ESSENCE magazine has now grown into one of the country's "Top 10 Leading Brand Events" by Advertising Age. The ESSENCE MUSIC FESTIVAL is the nation's largest annual gathering of African-American music and culture. Throughout its history, the Festival has featured an array of performers including Alicia Keys, Al Green, Aretha Franklin, Beyoncé, Chaka Khan, Destiny's Child, Earth, Wind & Fire, Gladys Knight, LL Cool J, Jamie Foxx, John Legend, The Isley Brothers, Lionel Richie, Luther Vandross, Maxwell, The O'Jays, Prince, Stevie Wonder, Toni Braxton, Patti LaBelle and Yolanda Adams, among others.


For information about ticket sales, accommodations and the latest updates and to sign up for the ESSENCE MUSIC FESTIVAL newsletter, visit http://www.essencemusicfestival.com. Join the Festival community: follow us on Twitter @essencemusic #EMF2011 and become a fan of 2011 Essence Music Festival on Facebook.


The presenting sponsor for the 2011 Essence Music Festival is Coca-Cola. Major sponsors include Coors Light, CoverGirl Queen Collection, Ford, McDonald's, Olay, Pantene, Tide, U.S. Army, Verizon and Wal-Mart; official sponsors include CNN, My Black is Beautiful, State Farm, TNT and Visa Pre-Paid.


The 2011 ESSENCE MUSIC FESTIVAL is executive produced by Essence Festivals LLC, a division of Essence Communications Inc. (ECI).


ABOUT ESSENCE COMMUNICATIONS INC.:

Essence Communications Inc. (ECI) is the number one media and communications company dedicated to African-American women. With a multi-platform presence in publishing, live events, and online, the Essence brand is "Where Black Women Come First". The company's flagship publication, ESSENCE magazine, is the preeminent lifestyle magazine for African-American women; generating brand extensions such as the Essence Music Festival, ESSENCE Black Women in Hollywood, Window on Our Women (WOW I & II) and Smart Beauty I, II & III consumer insights, the Essence Book Club, Essence.com, and ventures in digital media (mobile, television and VOD). For more than 40 years, ESSENCE magazine, which has a brand reach of over 8 million, has been the leading source of cutting-edge information relating to every area of African-American women's lives. Additional information about ECI and ESSENCE is available at www.essence.com.