In December, Essence magazine announced that Prince would headline the 20th anniversary Essence Festival, taking place in New Orleans on Fourth of July weekend this year. Now, the full official lineup has been unveiled, including a headlining appearance by Lionel Richie .
In addition to Prince and Richie, concertgoers will be treated to mainstage performances by Mary J. Blige , Erykah Badu , Jill Scott , Charlie Wilson , and Ledisi .
Other artists who'll be performing showcases in the festival's Superlounges include Stephanie Mills , Naughty by Nature , Doug E. Fresh , PJ Morton , Eve , Amel Larrieux and Leela James , among many others.
Gospel star Yolanda Adams will be honored with an all-star tribute at Essence 's Empowerment Experience, which will include appearances by Rev. Al Sharpton , Steve Harvey , Donnie McClurkin and Iyanla Vanzant .
Comedian Nephew Tommy will serve as the host of three-day event, which begins on July 3 and wraps up on July 6. For ticket information, visit EssenceFestival.com .
Incidentally, the Essence Festival is the only U.S. concert appearance Richie has scheduled this year. He kicks off a tour of Australia, New Zealand and Japan on March 2 in Perth, Australia. The trek runs through a March 31 date in Tokyo.
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