ESSENCE MUSIC FESTIVAL Headlined by Janet Jackson, Alicia Keys and Mary J. Blige

As ESSENCE celebrates its 40th anniversary, this year’s ESSENCE MUSIC FESTIVAL is presenting three female headliners who are icons emblematic of the ESSENCE brand.  Each night of the fourth of July weekend-long celebration in New Orleans will conclude with a headlining performance from these powerful women: Janet Jackson (Friday, July 2), Alicia Keys (Saturday, July 3) and Mary J. Blige (Sunday, July 4).  This year’s multi-generational list of performers also features some of today’s greatest African-American artists and also honors the local music of New Orleans (full night-by-night line-up is below).  

Throughout the weekend, EMF attendees are invited to free daily seminars featuring some of the biggest names in entertainment and the nation’s most influential speakers, artists, authors and leaders. The matching of the day-long experiences with live music late into the evening–all set against the classic backdrop of New Orleans–makes for a truly unique weekend.  

Each night, music fans will gather at the Superdome and this year for three nights of entertainment hosted by “Nephew Tommy” from the number one syndicated rated radio show, The Steve Harvey Morning Show.  On Saturday, festival participant Steve Harvey will serve as co-host for the evening’s musical celebrations.

The 2010 ESSENCE MUSIC FESTIVAL night-by-night line-up (as of 5/6) is as follows:

Friday, July 2:  Main stage: Janet Jackson, Charlie Wilson, Raphael Saadiq, Monica.  Superlounges: Chrisette Michele, Irma Thomas, Arrested Development, Big Sam’s Funky Nation, Mary Mary, Irvin Mayfield & the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra, WAR, Little Freddie King, Ruben Studdard.

Saturday, July 3:  Main stage: Alicia Keys, Gladys Knight, LL Cool J, Keri Hilson.   Superlounges: Laura Izibor, Sam & Ruby, De La Soul, Mint Condition, Leo Jackson & Melody Clouds, Joe, Rebirth Brass Band, Soul Rebels Brass Band.

Sunday, July 4:  Main stage: Mary J Blige, Earth Wind & Fire, Jill Scott, Trey Songz.  Superlounges: Estelle, Hot 8 Brass Band, Lalah Hathaway, Ivan Neville’s Dumpstaphunk, Shamarr Allen and The Underdawgs, Melanie Fiona, PJ Morton Band, Kermit Ruffins & the BBQ Swingers.

For those who haven’t yet purchased weekend passes for the 2010 ESSENCE MUSIC FESTIVAL, single day tickets go on sale Thursday, May 6 and are priced from $53–$212 per person per night.   Meanwhile, weekend packages ranging from $159–$636 per person continue to offer music fans the best way to enjoy a full three days of entertainment.

For additional information about ticket sales, accommodations and the latest news about the ESSENCE MUSIC FESTIVAL, visit  For the most updated information on the ESSENCE MUSIC FESTIVAL’s weekend long festivities, please visit Facebook ( and Twitter (  

The presenting sponsor for the 2010 Essence Music Festival is Coca-Cola.   Other 2010 sponsors include Coors Light, CoverGirl Queen, Ford, McDonald’s, Olay, Pantene, Tide, and U.S. Army;  AARP, CNN, HBO, My Black is Beautiful, TBS, TVOne.

The 2010 ESSENCE MUSIC FESTIVAL is executive produced by Essence Festivals LLC and produced by Rehage Entertainment. Essence Festivals LLC is a division of Essence Communications Inc. (ECI).

Pictured:  Musicians (L-R) Mary J. Blige and Alicia Keys attend the Gucci cocktail party for Ffawn at Gucci Fifth Avenue on September 16, 2009 in New York City. (Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images).