ESSENCE Festival organizers announced that programming for the leading cultural gathering of its kind will expand to 20 stages of entertainment and empowerment in celebration of the event's 20th anniversary, July 3-6, 2014 in New Orleans, Louisiana.
Here's the rundown.
The Superdome Main Stage performers will include powerhouses Prince (previously announced), Lionel Richie, Mary J. Blige , Jill Scott, Erykah Badu, Ledisi, and Charlie Wilson.
The intimate Superlounge Stages will feature eclectic crowd-pleasers such as: 112, Amel Larrieux, Big Sam's Funky Nation, Doug E. Fresh, Elle Varner, Eve, King, Kourtney Heart, Leela James, Liv Warfield, Marsha Ambrosius, Naughty by Nature, PJ Morton, Raheem DeVaughn, Robert Glasper, Sebastian Mikael, Sevyn Streeter, Stephanie Mills and The Original Pinettes Brass Band.
The daytime Essence Empowerment Experience Stage will feature influential leaders and personalities including Rev. Al Sharpton, Steve Harvey and Iyanla Vanzant, who is offering a group transformation to lucky winners of a contest launched in the January 2014 issue of Essence magazine.
Plus, attendees will get lifted during an all-star gospel tribute to illustrious vocalist Yolanda Adams , hosted by legendary Pastor Donnie McClurkin.
The Main Stage host each night will be comedian Nephew Tommy.