The Essence Festival of Culture has announced its 2020 evening concert series lineup. Janet Jackson, Janelle Monae and Patti LaBelle will headline the series, which takes place from July 3 to 5 from the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans.
The annual festival began in 1995 to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Essence magazine, and has since become one of the largest African-American cultural and musical events in the United States. This year’s festival will last from July 1 to 5, featuring and celebrating African-American music, fashion, film, television, politics and beauty. The concert series will take place from July 3 to 5.
The Brooklyn Vegan shared the following quote from Essence CEO Michelle Ebanks honoring the 50th anniversary of the publication.
“This is a milestone year for Essence and our community as we celebrate 50 years of creating opportunities for our culture to shine and the role of Black women in making it possible for us to do what no other brand has done. To be able to say that at 50 years, we are Black-owned, diversified across media, technology, commerce and live events, and impacting our culture in new and even deeper ways than ever before is a blessing – and one that comes with a tremendous responsibility to our community to continue to evolve, innovate and transform. That remains our focus and commitment as we work to ensure that we are here serving Black women deeply and advancing Black culture, economic ownership and inclusion globally for the next 50 years.”
Janet Jackson, the youngest member of the Jackson family, will be headlining the festival. A pop culture icon who has been active since 1973, the five-time Grammy winner will play Essence as part of her Black Diamond World Tour, which kicks off on June 24 at the American Airlines Arena in Miami.
Also headlining the festival is singer-songwriter-rapper, actress and producer Janelle Monáe. The artist has a stacked 2020, having opened the 92nd Academy Awards dressed as the legendary Mr. Rogers and singing his show’s theme song. She also has a starring role in the forthcoming horror thriller Antebellum, due out April 24. She will also be a keynote speaker at this year’s South by Southwest Conference & Festival.
Patti LaBelle, the Godmother of Soul, will also be headlining Essence. Her incredible career began in 1960 and shows no signs of slowing down. Essence is one stop on her 2020 touring calendar, which begins at the Florida Strawberry Festival March 2 and concludes November 1 in Richmond, Virginia.
Tickets for the event can be found here.