Mary J. Blige, NAS, Pharrell on tap for 2019 Essence Fest

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The 2019 Essence Festival will feature headlining performances by Mary J. Blige and rappers NAS, Pharrell, Jermaine Dupri and Missy Elliott as Essence Magazine’s “party with a purpose” turns 25 this year.

Festival producers announced a partial lineup Monday, listing more than 80 artists for the event held during the July Fourth weekend in New Orleans.

Others scheduled to participate include Anthony Hamilton, H.E.R., Ledisi, MC Lyte, Morris Day, Musiq Soulchild, Sheila E., Teddy Riley, Teyana Taylor, Queen Naija, Timbaland, Luke James, Big Freedia and Grammy winning, New Orleans native PJ Morton.

Producers say there also will be a special mainstage moment honoring Frankie Beverly for his lifetime contribution to music.

The festival is scheduled July 4-7, with events in the Superdome and the city’s convention center.

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