A cluster of music stars gather for the annual showcase.
The stars are aligning over New Orleans for the 17th annual Essence Music Festival this weekend (July 1st through 3rd). This year's fest boasts the high-wattage headliners Kanye West, Mary J. Blige, Jill Scott and Trey Songz.
As evident by the sultry singers on that list, the theme of the 2011 festival is "The Roots of R&B." Joining the top-billing acts to round out the three-day event are Charlie Wilson, Boyz II Men, Fantasia, George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic, Macy Gray, Dwele, Mint Condition, MC Lyte and more.
Last year, Janet Jackson played to a sold out crowd at the Louisiana Superdome. Tickets to Essence Music Festival are still on sale at the official website.