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City Wide Events
Events Happening in New Orleans
Date: Friday, July 03, 2009 At 08:00 AM
Contact Info:
Additional information about ECI and ESSENCE is available at




Lionel Richie, Frankie Beverly and Maze, Ryan Leslie, Melanie Fiona,
Charlie Wilson and Little Freddie King have just been added to the
line-up for this year's ESSENCE MUSIC FESTIVAL, set for this July 3, 4
and 5 in New Orleans. These acts join the already announced line-up
of talent that includes Beyoncé, Maxwell, Anita Baker, Al Green, John
Legend, Keri Hilson, Robin Thicke, Salt-N-Pepa, Ne-Yo, Raphael Saadiq,
En Vogue, Eric Benet, Sierra Leone Refugee All Stars, Teena Marie, and
more than 30 acts (the full day-by-day line-up will be announced in
the coming weeks).

This year, the weekend-long 15th Anniversary celebration of music and
empowerment will conclude with a special ESSENCE ICONS TRIBUTE to
Frankie Beverly and Maze, the group who have closed the annual New
Orleans festival since its 1995 inception. This one night only event
will feature a gathering of stars of R&B and soul music who will come
together to honor the legacy of Frankie Beverly and Maze. A full list
of talent for this special performance will be announced in the coming

The updated acts:

Frankie Beverly and Maze: For nearly thirty years, Frankie Beverly
and Maze have created a sound that is distinctive, passionate,
creative, original, soulful, honest and powerful. The group continues
to be one of the most requested at music festivals throughout the
world drawing major crowds and have earned a reputation for having one
of the best live shows in R&B. Frankie Beverly and Maze have closed
the show for the past 14 ESSENCE MUSIC FESTIVAL's including 2006's
post-Katrina festival in Houston.

Lionel Richie: This global superstar is also an Academy Award and
Grammy Award-winning American singer, songwriter, record producer who
has sold more than 100 million records.

Charlie Wilson: As the former lead singer of the funkadelic brotherly
trio, the GAP Band, Charlie Wilson is known as one of the most
familiar voices in R&B music. His new CD, UNCLE CHARLIE, was released
in February and debuted at #2 on the Billboard Top 200 and #1 on the
Billboard Hip Hop/R&B Chart and includes the #1 single, "There Goes My
Baby." In addition, Wilson is currently on the road starring opposite
Robin Givens and Mel Jackson in the touring gospel play "Save Me From
My Secrets." More information can be found at <>

Ryan Leslie: Singer/producer Ryan Leslie's self-titled debut album
was released this past February. Billboard magazine said, "With its
smooth melodies ('Just Right'), fresh beats ('Diamond Girl') and
effortlessly suave lyrics ('Quicksand'), the album satisfies from
beginning to end."

Melanie Fiona: Singer/songwriter Melanie Fiona's debut album The
Bridge reveals a sweet push-and-pull between countless elements of
herself. United by a singular passion, Melanie Fiona's sound bridges
past and present with an artistic and consistent blending of classic
soul samples. It's all held together by a unique quality, something
that is innately her, much like the other artists she mentions as
influences: Bob Marley, Sade, and Patsy Cline.

Little Freddie King: An acclaimed international blues artist/American
roots guitar player from New Orleans. His live performances have
enthralled audiences at music festivals throughout North America and

"From Lionel Richie to Charlie Wilson and Ryan Leslie, we have worked
hard to create a musical line-up that's appealing to all of our fans,"
said Michelle Ebanks, president, Essence Communications Inc. "As the
Essence Music Festival line-up has come together, we are thrilled to
once again confirm Frankie Beverly and Maze as the act to close out
our 15th anniversary celebration. We're looking forward to another
great weekend of music and empowerment."

For additional information about ticket sales, accommodations and the
latest news about the ESSENCE MUSIC FESTIVAL, visit <> .
General admission daily tickets are available for $51, $67 or $79;
floor seats are $92 and $121; Gold Circle tickets are $173; all plus
applicable service charges. To purchase tickets, visit or call 800-277-1700.

The 2009 ESSENCE MUSIC FESTIVAL is executive produced by Essence
Festivals LLC and produced by Rehage Entertainment. Essence Festivals
LLC is a division of Essence Communications Inc. (ECI). The 2009
ESSENCE MUSIC FESTIVAL sponsors include Presenting Sponsor Coca Cola;
Major Sponsors: U.S. Army, Covergirl, Queen, McDonald's, Pantene,
Ford, and Walmart; and Official Sponsors: My Black is Beautiful,
Southwest Airlines, COORS, TBS and CNN.