Thursday, June 13, 2024

To Perform ‘Confessions’ Album in Full

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Three weeks after the cancellation of the Lovers & Friends Festival in Las Vegas, the prayers of Usher fans are being answered. Billboard can exclusively report that the eight-time Grammy Award winner will now perform his classic album Confessions during a special one-night-only performance at the 2024 Essence Festival of Culture. Presented by Coca-Cola, the annual four-day event will take place July 4-7 in New Orleans at Caesars Superdome.

Confessions’ 20th birthday isn’t the only anniversary saluted that weekend. Under the theme “Celebrating 30 Years of Us,” Essence itself is marking the festival’s own milestone birthday with a star-studded lineup that includes R&B/pop icon Janet Jackson, a special performance by Birdman & Friends Presents 30 Years of Cash Money Millionaires, three-time Grammy winner Victoria Monét and eight-time Essence Festival veteran Charlie Wilson. Tank and the Bangas will also be part of a New Orleans takeover with a curated performance alongside special guests and fellow New Orleans natives Teedra Moses, HaSizzle and Dawn Richard.

Another highlight will be a tribute to Frankie Beverly & Maze, who reigned as the festival’s closing act during its first 15 years. “As we commemorate this year’s festival, Essence will give flowers to the entertainers who started the all-white Sunday-night tradition,” states the press release of the tribute that will also include a “passing of the torch moment” curated by Grammy-winning songwriter/producer Bryan-Michael Cox. The series of evening concerts will be hosted by Keke Palmer, Pretty Vee, Big Tigger, Punkie Johnson and Kenny Burns with special DJ sets from Raj Smoove, DJ Clark Kent and DJ Beverly Bond.

DJ D-Nice will bring his popular Club Quarantine to the Superdome as well. That multi-genre lineup will feature Method Man, Sheila E., Big Boi, Donell Jones, Tweet, Machel Montano and Lloyd. Each night will also showcase specially curated performances that include Grammy-winning band The Roots & Friends featuring Ari Lennox, Mickey Guyton, special guest T-Pain and the reunion of R&B supergroup TGT (Tyrese, Ginuwine and Tank). Rounding out the list of evening performers: Ayra Starr, SWV, Busta Rhymes and Jacquees. More talent will be announced in the coming weeks.

“For three decades, the Essence Festival of Culture has blossomed into a pillar of our culture,” said festival vp Hakeem Holmes in a statement. He continued in part, “As the festival approaches its 30-year milestone, we are excited to welcome and celebrate with all  of our closest family and friends around the world. It promises to be an enriching four days of daytime and evening experiences. Last year, we proudly generated $316 million for New Orleans and Louisiana, and we look forward to another year of new memories. This is your formal invitation to join us … for a celebration of unparalleled Black joy.”

Major partners in the 2024 Essence Festival of Culture include AT&T, L’Oréal Groupe, McDonald’s USA and Target Corporation. For more information and updates, visit ESSENCEFestival.com.



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