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Essence Festival highlights new and seasoned talent

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Since the mid 1990's Essence Magazine has been hosting the Essence Festival which has been held in New Orleans, LA every year except one. The festival is always held July 4th weekend. This year's Essence Festival, presented by Coca-Cola in New Orleans, LA was held July 4-7.

Each day had its own unique theme. This 4 day festival kicked off on July 4th with what was advertised as the Biggest Family Reunion Ever. This day was filled with food, fashion, art and fun and lots of give-a-ways. There were family empowerment seminars by the likes of Maser P & Roland Martin. Trina & Traci Braxton made an appearance discussing their stardom. Biz Markie, Cupid, Tweet and Doug E. Fresh were among the many artist at Woldenberg Riverfront Park.

Friday, July 5th had the theme Body, Spirit and Love. Steve Harvey Morning show (KRNB 105.7 in Dallas/Ft. Worth) broadcast his show live from New Orleans. This day included appearances from some of your favorites such as: Kenya Moore, Laz Alonso, Trey Songz and Lance Gross. There was a performance by a name you may not be so familiar with, Kedrick Brown. Kedrick performed on the Ford sponsored stage delighting the audience with a James Brown performance. Kedrick was in character from the moment he hit the stage. He eminated James Brown from head to toe--yes even the hair. He danced/lip synced to a medley of James Brown's hits such as: Please, Please, Please, Super bad and Papa's Got a Brand New Bag. The performance was very energetic & entertaining, filled with splits, twist, turns and yes the cape. This was a performance the entire family would enjoy. The following performed in concert on this day: LL Cool J, Brandy, Maxwell, Jill Scott, Blackstreet, Chrisette Michele and a host of others.

Saturday, July 6th had the theme Be Fearless in Your Community. Kedrick Brown performed fearlessly in front of the large crowd as he impersonated Michael Jackson. Guess what Dallas/Ft. Worth? You don't have to wait until next years Essence Festival to see Kedrick's performance. Kedrick Brown will be bringing his act to the metroplex later this year the details will be announced at a later time. Other highlights for this day was performances by the following: Charlie Wilson, Keyshia Cole, Solange, Trey Songz, Faith Evans, Jody Watley and many more. Iyanla Vanzant and Reverend Al Sharpton were two of many speakers for the day.

Sunday, July 7th was the much anticipated final day of the Festival. The theme was Get Lifted: An All Star Gospel Tribute to Tramaine Hawkins and Donnie Mcclurkin. There were performances by: Yolanda Adams, Hezekiah Walker, Michelle Williams and others. Then of course you had the two honorees make appearances Donnie Mcclurkin and Tramaine Hawkins. The talk of the day were the concerts. The performers were: TGT (Tyrese/Ginuwine/Tank), Janelle Monae, Tamia, Mint Condition, Marsha Ambrosius, others and of course Beyonce as the headliner. Mrs. Carter was definitely the fireworks needed to end the festival. Good job Essence for hosting another successful Essence Festival.

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