Every July, Essence Magazine heads south to rock New Orleans with a music festival that’s hard to rival. This year is no different. From incomparable soul legends like Chaka Khan to the Queen of Hip Hop Soul Mary J. Blige and the genre-bending hip hop record-breaker Kanye West, fans can expect a Fourth of July weekend they will not soon forget.
Beginning July 1st and wrapping on Independence Day, performers will be in heavy rotation on five different stages in the city where gumbo, beignets and Mardi Gras rule. While every year is special, this year's line up has an amazing mix of old and new, with three of music lovers’ favorite boy bands reuniting: New Edition, Boys II Men and Mint Condition.
If they aren’t enough to get the crowd amped, the festival will take fans back to the old school with 80's R&B duo Alexander O’Neal and Cherrelle, who recently performed their classic hit “Saturday Love,” at the 2011 BET Awards.
While the list is too long to mention everyone, Fantasia, Dwele and funk maestro Charlie Wilson will also help to keep the party jumping. If this line-up isn't enough to wet the palette, there’s always jambalaya.
(Photos from top: Sorin Dragan, Arnold Turner/BET/PictureGroup)