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America, Illustrated:…

Nov 26, 2015 - Jan 05, 2016
New Orleans based M.S. Rau Antiques will pay tribute to The Saturday Evening… more

Ashe Cultural Arts…

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Nov 26 - 26, 2015
Join us for the Bayou Classic Thanksgiving Parade. The parade will begin at the… more

Clyde & Iggy

Nov 26 - Dec 31, 2015
Join us for the local musical duo Clyde & Iggy.  Their repertoire… more

David Hansen's Garden…

Nov 26, 2015
Since 2006, Hansen's Garden District Jazz Trio has performed every night at… more

Fats Domino & Dave…

Nov 26 - Dec 27, 2015
Join us at the Carver Theater for a Music Tribute honoring Legendary Musicians… more

Florida Room: Jessica…

Nov 26 - 29, 2015
The Foundation Gallery is excited to present Florida Room by Jessica Bizer … more

Jasper Johns:…

Nov 26, 2015 - Jan 31, 2016
Prints from the Donna Perret Rosen and Benjamin M. Rosen Collection: Jasper… more

Newcomb Art Museum of…

Nov 26, 2015 - Jan 03, 2016
Join us for the  Exhibition: "A Shared Space: KAWS, Karl Wirsum,… more

Patriot, Planter,…

Nov 26, 2015 - Mar 20, 2016
NOMA will present the first exhibition to focus on the works of Pierre-Joseph… more

The Historic New…

Nov 26, 2015 - Jan 09, 2016
The Historic New Orleans Collection marks the 10th anniversary of Hurricane… more

The Photography of…

Nov 26, 2015 - Mar 01, 2016
The Photography of Modernist Cuisine: The Exhibition, a collection of over 50… more

Tim Youd: 100 Novels

Nov 26, 2015 - Feb 21, 2016
Los Angeles-based contemporary artist Tim Youd will visit NOMA to perform the… more


Nov 26, 2015 - Jan 10, 2016
This exhibition features work by the Japanese artist Bidou Yamaquchi. Trained… more

Visions of US:…

Nov 26, 2015 - Jan 24, 2016
Visions of US explores evolving ideas about American cultural identity from the… more

2015 Battle of the…

Nov 27 - 27, 2015
The Bayou Classic is more than a football game. This annual event is one of the… more

Celebration in the…

Nov 27, 2015 - Jan 03, 2016
City Park's annual holiday lighting exhibit and festival returns with one of… more


Nov 27 - 27, 2015
Swipe Right and come and play in the Lounge at Foundation Room. DJ Raj Smoove… more

Friday Nights at NOMA

Nov 27 - 27, 2015
Every Friday evening, come to the museum for activities and entertainment from… more

Sixty Minute Sip Down

Nov 27 - 27, 2015
Who says it has to end early? We are extending this New Orleans Friday… more

America, Illustrated:…

Nov 26, 2015 - Jan 05, 2016
New Orleans based M.S. Rau Antiques will pay tribute to The Saturday Evening… more

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

Media Contacts:

Dana Baxter, ESSENCE

Sheila Harris, ESSENCE 


(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 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).


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,, 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