MEDIA CONTACTS:
Dana Baxter, ESSENCE
212-522-1634
dbaxter@essence.com

Sheila Harris, ESSENCE
212-522-1089
sharris@essence.com

Mozell Miley-Bailey
212-522-1089
mmileybailey@essence.com

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Aretha Franklin performing on the Mainstage of the 2012 ESSENCE Music Festival (credit, Makeda Peterson)
Aretha Franklin performing on the Mainstage of the 2012 ESSENCE Music Festival (credit, Makeda Peterson)
Roshon Fegan hosting the Youth Empowerment Experience at the 2012 ESSENCE Music Festival (credit, Gus Bennett)
Roshon Fegan hosting the Youth Empowerment Experience at the 2012 ESSENCE Music Festival (credit, Gus Bennett)
D'Angelo performing during the 2012 ESSENCE Music Festival. (credit: Gus Bennett)
D'Angelo performing during the 2012 ESSENCE Music Festival. (credit: Gus Bennett)

2012 ESSENCE MUSIC FESTIVAL: FOUR DAYS OF ENTERTAINMENT, EMPOWERMENT AND CULTURE

ATTENDEES DESCENDED UPON NEW ORLEANS OVER FOURTH OF JULY WEEKEND FOR PERFORMANCES FROM D’ANGELO, MARY J. BLIGE, ARETHA FRANKLIN, FANTASIA, TREY SONGZ, KEVIN HART, CHAKA KHAN, KIRK FRANKLIN & MANY OTHERS

EMPOWERMENT APPEARANCES BY STEVE HARVEY, REP. MAXINE WATERS, VANESSA WILLIAMS, REV. AL SHARPTON, SOLEDAD O’BRIEN & MORE

NEW YORK, July 9, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — The 2012 ESSENCE Music Festival proved to be the place to be during Fourth of July weekend. Attendees from around the world descended upon picturesque New Orleans for the newly-expanded four day Festival, themed “The Power of Our Voice.” The star-studded line-up featured performances and appearances by D’Angelo, Mary J. Blige, Aretha Franklin, Fantasia, Trey Songz, Kevin Hart, Chaka Khan, Kirk Franklin, Steve Harvey, Rep. Maxine Waters, Vanessa Williams, Rev. Al Sharpton, Soledad O’Brien and more. The Festival concluded on Sunday, July 8th, with a once in a lifetime ensemble comprised of Chaka Khan and The R&B Divas who paid tribute to the R&B artists who passed away over this past year.

This year marked the 18th anniversary for the Festival, which has grown to become the definitive African-American live cultural experience of the year. The Festival featured A-list R&B, pop and soul musicians, buzzed-about new comers and some of the nation’s most influential speakers, artists, authors, innovators and leaders. New programs for 2012 included the “New & Next” youth concert featuring hot acts such as: Roshon Fegan, Diggy Simmons, The OMG Girlz, Katlyn Nichol, CoCo Jones and The Roots of Music.

The presenting sponsor for the 2012 ESSENCE Music Festival is Coca-Cola. Major sponsors include Coors Light, Wal-Mart, McDonald’s, Ford, My Black is Beautiful, U.S. Army and Verizon. Official Sponsors are CNN, State Farm, TV-One and Visa Pre-Paid.

The 2012 ESSENCE MUSIC FESTIVAL is executive produced by Essence Festivals LLC, a division of Essence Communications Inc. (ECI). GeChar is the executive producer of the 2012 ESSENCE Empowerment Experience.

ABOUT ESSENCE COMMUNICATIONS INC.:
Essence Communications Inc. (ECI) is the number one media company dedicated to African-American women, with a multi-platform presence in publishing, live events, and online. The company’s flagship publication, ESSENCE magazine, is the preeminent lifestyle magazine for African-American women; generating brand extensions such as the Essence Music Festival, ESSENCE Black Women in Hollywood and Black Women in Music, Window on Our Women and Smart Beauty consumer insights series, the Essence Book Club, Essence.com, and ventures in digital media (mobile, television and VOD). For 42 years, ESSENCE, which has a brand reach of over 8 million, has been the leading source of cutting-edge information and specific solutions relating to every area of African-American women’s lives. Additional information about ECI and ESSENCE is available at www.essence.com.