The talent line-up continues to heat up for the 2017 ESSENCE Festival® presented by Coca-Cola®. The Festival will offer even more celebrity access, television and film sneak peeks and exclusive performances than ever before, rounding out the event’s daytime experience—which is free and open-to-the-public—taking place June 30-July 2 in New Orleans.


IYANLA VANZANT                      JADA PINKETT SMITH                CONGRESSWOMAN MAXINE WATERS                      AVA DUVERNAY

MARY J. BLIGE          REGINA HALL            REV. AL SHARPTON QUEEN LATIFAH                         MASTER P                  ISSA RAE

TINA KNOWLES-LAWSON                          CECE WINANS           JOHN SINGLETON                      MARA BROCK-AKIL

LARENZ TATE             BRYSHERE Y. GRAY                   MONICA                   INDIA.ARIE                 MC LYTE                    TWEET                        TIFFANY HADDISH                     MICHAEL ERIC DYSON                                JAY ELLIS                           XSCAPE                                        JOSEPH SIKORA                          TA’RHONDA JONES                                                       YVONNE ORIJI

LETOYA LUCKETT                       CORY HARDRICT                                          BJ THE CHICAGO KID                                  ELLE VARNER            SYBRINA FULTON                      PHAEDRA PARKS                       EMILY ESTEFAN                                         DONDRE WHITFIELD                 RUTINA WESLEY                         CISSY HOUSTON                                          KOFI SIRIBOE             TINA LIFFORD                             DAWN-LYEN GARDNER                             BRANDON BELL

KIM BURRELL                             KELLY PRICE                                GALLANT                                     JUDE DEMOREST

RYAN DESTINY                           DEMETRIA MCKINNEY              BRITTANY O’GRADY


For more information, visit, follow us on Twitter @essencefest #EssenceFest and become a fan of 2017 ESSENCE Festival on Facebook.

The 2017 ESSENCE Festival App is now available for iPhone and Android users.

Sponsors of the 2017 ESSENCE Festival® include presenting sponsor Coca-Cola and major sponsors Ford, McDonald’s, State Farm, Verizon, and Walmart.  Superlounge sponsors include Coca-Cola, Ford and Walmart.   The All-Star Gospel Tribute is sponsored by Walmart.

Monica Brown Cover and Interview – Uptown Magazine


“When you embrace you, you embrace it all.”

Monica is clearly embracing it all right now – her family, her fame, and the success of her eighth studio album, “Code Red.” We have a Code Red over here with how she’s SLAYING us with her new cover and photo spread in “Uptown.”

In the interview, she explains “As I think back over everything I’ve accomplished in my career—the awards, opportunities and exposure are all there, of course. But, what gives me unspeakable joy is the fact that I’ve touched countless women, and some young men, along the way with my music and my message.”

Photo – Uptown Magazine

And if anyone knows music, it’s Monica. She’s been dominating the R&B scene for over 20 years since her debut with “Don’t Take It Personal.” She knows that in order to make it to the top of the charts, or the top of any field you need to have the traits of a leader. Check out the video below to see Monica describe what individuals need to succeed and be a leader in their field.