Chance The Rapper performs at 2017 Essence Festival in New Orleans
Music Festivals 2017: Essence Fest In New Orleans
Check out our comprehensive 2017 Essence Music Festival coverage, with interviews, photos and more!
Sunday, July 2
- What makes Essence Fest so magical? Rhonda Ross, JhenéAiko, Ari Lennox, MC Lyte, Napoleon Da Legend, and Elle Varner share their thoughts on why Essence Music Festival is a powerful celebration of African-American culture and music.
- Victorious. Chance The Rapper toasts his triumphant headlining set at the 2017 Essence Music Festival. The rapper closed his set with "Blessings," a track from his GRAMMY-winning album, Coloring Book.
- Rap legend Master P on stage for the No Limit Reunion at Essence Festival 2017.
- GRAMMY-winner Solange expresses gratitude to an energized Essence Music Festival crowd on closing night.
- Paris-born, Brooklyn-based rapper Napoleon Da Legend stopped by backstage at Essence Music Festival 2017 to explain how the soul of jazz is integral to hip-hop, name-checking his influences from both styles: Miles Davis, A Tribe Called Quest and De La Soul.
- Reunited, and it feels oh so good. Xscape are "Just Kickin' It" as they get ready to bring some '90s nostalgia to the Sunday performance lineup at the 2017 Essence Music Festival.
- Saturday night headliner Mary J. Blige treated a packed house at Essence festival to a set that left no questions about how she earned her 9 career GRAMMY awards.
- 3-time GRAMMY winner Jill Scott left her heart on stage last night at Essence fesitval. Did you catch her set?
- Who joined singer Ari Lennox on stage for the final song of Essence festival's #LadiesNight?
- How can an artist stay focused and healthy while touring? Backstage at Essence Music Festival 2017, GRAMMY-nominated singer/songwriter Jhené Aiko discussed her regimen, which includes rest, burning incense and protein shakes.
- Backstage at Essence Music Festival 2017, GRAMMY-nominated singer/songwriters Jhené Aiko and Remy Ma, and recording artist/actress Teyana Taylor give their perspectives on why self-confidence is more important than ever to a female artist's livelihood and career.
- Chance The Rapper is going to make it a night to remember for a special group of fans. Ahead of his Sunday set at Essence, the GRAMMY winner announced via Twitter that hearing impaired fans have the opportunity to attend his set for free. Spreading the word on how people can protect their hearing is a cause close to the heart of The Recording Academy's health and human services charity, MusiCares. Read more about how visuals are playing into helping hearing-imparied people enjoy concerts.
- Get all the behind-the-scenes action with Jazmine Sullivan.
- Check out what artists Yuna, Goldlink, Coline Creuzot, and Rhonda Ross have to say about current trends in hip-hop.
- PJ Morton is on the ground at Essence.
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- Singer/songwriter Yuna dishes on her upcoming album. Get the inside scoop.
- Watch headliner Diana Ross show you how it's done at Essence!
— Officially Live (@officiallylive) July 1, 2017
- John Legend delivered a killer set at Essence, which was also the last stop on his North American tour.
- We spoke with India.Arie about what makes Essence so special. Find out why it feels like her world!
- Mary J. Blige was among the participants in the Essence Festival's "Strength Of A Woman" panel, a discussion titled after the GRAMMY winner's 2017 album of the same name. During the panel, which addressed themes of self-reliance and perseverance, Blige echoed some of the sentiments she shared with GRAMMY.com in a recent interview about the the obstacles she overcame while making her new LP. "In fighting for my life I discovered my strength, my real strength as a woman," said Blige on Friday.
- Essence Festival is underway. Check out the festival's official teaser video and stay tuned for more updates from New Orleans.
2016 Essence Festival Recap
Fourth of July weekend in New Orleans means one thing: Essence Music Festival.
Now in its 19th year, Essence is bigger and fiercer than ever in its mission of celebrating African-American women and culture through music. This year's can't-miss headliners include recent Best New Artist GRAMMY winner Chance The Rapper, the legendary Diana Ross, the undeniable Mary J. Blige, and R&B crooner John Legend.
But the essence of Essence Music Festival goes way beyond these household names. The lineup includes several stages full of rising stars, genre-bending artists and local New Orleans flair — not to mention the myriad of activities, discussions and events that take place at the concurrent Essence Path To Power Conference. Simply put, it's the place to be.
The Recording Academy will be on the ground in New Orleans again this year, bringing you exclusive interviews, video and photos from front stage to back. Visit this page over the course of the weekend to keep up to speed and get an inside look at the action.
As we gear up for the festival weekend, we also take a look back to our Essence coverage in 2016. Last July we spoke with Common, Andra Day, Jidenna, and many more backstage. We also caught up with a pair of sensational artists on the rise.
New Orleans' own Tank & The Bangas would go on to win NPR's 2017 Tiny Desk Contest, but during their exclusive performance at Essence, the group's magic was already evident.
Likewise, Beyoncé protégés Chloe X Halle treated us to two stunning performances that would prove their promise. Take a look and listen, and get excited for this year's Essence Music Festival, June 29–July 2.