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The 17th Annual ESSENCE Music Festival

The 17th annual ESSENCE Music Festival hosted more than 422,000 attendees, who gathered in New Orleans over the July 4th Weekend for three days of music, empowerment and community events. This year's Festival celebrated "The Roots of R&B" with nighttime concerts at the newly renovated Louisiana Superdome, which featured the hottest acts including: Usher, Kanye West, Mary J. Blige, New Edition, Jill Scott, Boyz II Men, Jennifer Hudson, Trey Songz and more. The Festival also delivered a "Weekend of Transformation" via the ESSENCE Empowerment Experience, which featured daily panels, keynotes and presentations at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center. Panelists included: Steve Harvey, Tavis Smiley, Dr. Cornel West, Soledad O'Brien, Iyanla Vanzant, Terry McMillan and more. The ESSENCE Music Festival is the nation's largest annual African-American cultural event and continues to be a hallmark of New Orleans tourism.