Posted by | Ray Cornelius

The 2014 ESSENCE Festival is shaping up to be an eclectic mix of old school and new school artists.

The festival announced today the addition of hip-hop soul queens Mary J. Blige and Erykah Badu along with Motown legend Lionel Richie to its main stage. They will join previously announced headliner, Prince, who will be celebrating the 20th anniversary of his classic Purple Rain  album.  Also gracing the main stage are crowd favorites Jill Scott, Ledisi and Charlie Wilson.

The Superlounges are sure to be “turnt up” with intimate performances from Marsha Ambrosius, Raheem DeVaughn, Robert Glasper, Elle Varner and R&B newcomer Sevyn Streeter. Veteran acts Naughty by Nature, Doug E. Fresh, Eve, 112, Amel Larrieux and Stephanie Mills will also hit the stage with their catalogues of endless hits.

Rounding out the weekend will be an all-star tribute to gospel diva Yolanda Adams during the ESSENCE Empowerment Experience. The event will be hosted by Adam’s Sunday Best  co-star Donnie McClurkin along with appearances by Rev. Al Sharpton, Steve Harvey, and Fix My Life’s  Iyanla Vanzant.

The ESSENCE Festival is July 3-6 at the New Orleans Superdome.

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