Anthony Hamilton has been added to the 2012 Essence Music Festival lineup, which includes previously announced headliners Aretha Franklin, D'Angelo, Charlie Wilson and Mary J. Blige, along with Trey Songz and Ledisi.
The four-day festival kicks off on July 5 with a youth empowerment day at New Orleans' Ernest N. Morial Convention Center. The experience concludes with the first ever New and Next concert, featuring Diggy Simmons, the OMG Girlz and New Orleans' marching band The Roots of Music.
Starting July 6, before the nightly concerts get underway, Doug E. Fresh will host the first free Essence Music Festival block party in Champions Square. The daily event will include DJ sets from Beverly Bond, MC Lyte and DJ Spinderella, among others.
The Essence Music Festival celebrates its 18th anniversary this year, with performances from Eve, Marsha Ambrosius, newcomer Leah LaBelle and others. Mary Mary will take the main stage on Saturday night. Then on Sunday, the duo will be honored during the All-Star Gospel Salute to Mary Mary and Fred Hammond. Yolanda Adams, Kim Burrell, Tramaine Hawkins, Pastor Marvin Winans, Byron Cage, Israel Houghton and more are slated to perform during the free event.
Tickets are on sale now, and the schedule of events is available online.
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