ESSENCE MUSIC FESTIVAL
A BIG STAGE FOR A BOLD STATEMENT
USHER DISSES JULY 4th INDEPENDENCE DAY AND PAYS TRIBUTE TO JUNETEENTH BLACK FREEDOM
USHER a headliner at the 21st Essence Festival stepped onto the Mercedes Benz Superdome Main Stage wearing a white T shirt with JULY 4th circled in red, crossed out and wished the fans A Happy Belated JUNETEENTH.
JUNETEENTH also known as FREEDOM DAY marks the DAY the Union soldiers arrived in Calveston,Texas on June 19,1865 to proclaim FREEDOM for all enslaved
Usher , questioning the state of current issues concerning BLACKS in America was wearing a black leather jacket with a thought provoking motto “HAVE WE REALLY ACHIEVED OUR INDEPENDENCE” .
He went on to announced that he wanted to celebrate 23 yrs of music,taking his fans back to 2004 with the album “Confessions”, opening with “OMG” leading straight through to his 1994 debut Album ” Usher”.
Yes ! he went on to say. “For those of you who are my original fans. You know what the hell I mean when I say “, ” Spread it out “
Michael Jackson”s musical influence also reappeared in songs like ” Good kisser ” and “She came to give it to you” .
But because of Usher”s own talent and style , he still PROVED to be his own Artist. While Usher is still indebted to Michael Jackson in dance. The late star didn’t dominate Usher”s 100 minutes of elaborate production and performance. Usher , 36 years old expressed his appreciation to Essence Magazine mentioning how he grew up in the pages of the Essence Magazine. publications.
Minutes before 1 am on Sunday morning , Usher closed out with “Without You” and turned ESSENCE FESTIVAL into a club with his 2011 pop- dance song collaboration with French Dj David Guetta. HE expressed most gratitude to his fans as he was singing,
I CANT WIN,I CANT REIGN. I WILL NEVER WIN THIS GAME WITHOUT You.
IF CURIOSITY COULD LEAD YOU ANYWHERE .IT SHOULD’VE LED YOU TO NEW ORLEANS ESSENCE MUSIC FESTIVAL.
BRING THE LOVE
The 21st Essence Festival offered thousands of festival attendees more than just a music festival, but also an experience of a Black Community Gathering ,Celebrating Black Lives That Matter. Over 120 speakers,authors leaders,celebrities participated in the daytime programming and more than 80 performing artist, including some of the biggest names in the entertainment industry performed at the Essence Festival”s night time concerts.
During the three day July 3rd – 5th Essence Festival Celebrations, thousands of festivalgoers converged to the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center by day to attend panel discussions and Empowerment speakers seminars that included Deepak Chopra , Iyanla Vanzant, Shaun T , and Kim Burrell. Fans also flocked to the Mercedes Benz Superdome by night to see their favorite 2015 Essence Festival Headliners in concert which included Usher, Charlie Wilson, Trey Songz , India Arie, Erikhah Badu, Missy Elliot, Kendrick Lamar,Mary J Blige, Kem, Frankie Beverly featuring Maze, Common ,comedian Kevin Hart New Orleans own Troy Trombone and others.
The ESSENCE FESTIVAL lso offered many opportunities to see some favorite TV stars and movie makers like Selma’ Director Ava Du Vernay, and Devon Franklin, Steve Harvey and the cast of the hit TV show Empire’s ,Jesse Smollett , stars from FOX Series “Scream Queens,” “Minority Report” and ” Rosewood”.
The kick starter on Thursday opened with KEVIN HART who appeared on stage wearing a black leather jacket holding a gold microphone and announced. “This b——- is sold out.”
Kevin Hart who pulls in 6 figures a show still draws material from his real life experiences with insecurity still providing inspiration. Acknowledging the audience applause as he stripped off his jacket, 5. feet 4 inch tall Kevin Hart cracked up saying , “Don’t try and make me tall.” Signs outside the Dome for Thursday night”s Kevin Hart performance prohibited any Cellphone use by recording, texting, tweeting, and talking during the show, or face ejection out of the Dome . The ban applied to all Celebrity or not. …..VERY FUNNY!
FRANKIE BEVERLY FEATURING MAZE PROVED TO BE STILL THE CREME OF THE CROP AT BIG EASY”S ESSENCE FESTIVAL.
At an interview with the associated press FRANKIE BEVERLY stated that they are as eager as the fans are, to return to the Essence Festival.For years fans would go in droves to the Dome , dressed in white , a signature color of Frankie Beverly, to watch their favorite band light up the stage with fan favorite songs .Frankie Beverly featuring Maze took on where they left off six years ago. Once again Frankie Beverly featuring Maze took command of the Superdome with a comeback not easily forgotten at the 21st NEW Orleans Essence Festival.
Frankie Beverly had Essence co founder and their fans dancing in the isles at the Mercedes Benz Dome.
Trey Songz surprised fans by introducing New Orleans Own rap legend Juvenile who performed with him on stage and cleverly transitioned his hit “Slow Motion ” into the set of songs.
After absence from the Essence Festival CHARLIE WILSON returned to the Essence Festival and brought his
shine back on .The 62 year old performed with a lot of vigor and stamina .Charlie Wilson started his 1hr set with the Gap bands “Party Train” and later during his set, he slowed things down with ” There goes my baby”. The beloved fan favorite Charlie Wilson also took it to church with gospel then back to classic hits from Sam Cooks ” You send me” He wowed the crowd when he busted a few dance moves with his back up dancers paying homage to new school with ” Uptown Funk. Mr Charlie ! Charlie Wilson , didn’t disappoint.
INDIA ARIE stepped on stage wearing a pink dress and a multi coloured head wrap. The neo soul songstress
treated her fans to a first listen in on her new song.” HE GOT THE MAGIC” The brown skin beauty serenaded her fans on day two of the Essence Festival with all her favorite songs like” Complicated Melody “to “Brown skin”. Her new song “He got the magic”, really brought on the magic when she danced, sang and also played the flute. She later also introduced her niece to the stage and held the baby clone to her chest while she SONGVERSATIONED about ” “LOVE IS HER RELIGION”
ESSENCE MUSIC FESTIVAL IS THE LARGEST AFRICAN AMERICAN FESTIVAL IN THE US , PULLING IN A CROWD OF AN ESTIMATED 500.000 FROM LOCAL RESIDENCE,VISITORS AND PEOPLE FROM ALL OVER THE WORLD , MAKING IT AN ATTRACTIVE PLATFORM FOR BIG SPONSORS LIKE MC DONALDS AND COCA COLA.
Author. Isabelle Doll Ngcobo