NEW ORLEANS – Gumbo, beignets, casinos, fireworks and some sizzling performances —  Even for those who don’t enjoy gambling, the 2011 Essence Music Festival will be a safe bet this Fourth of July Holiday weekend in New Orleans, Louisiana.

“We are celebrating the roots of R&B this Fourth of July weekend,” said Michelle Ebanks, president of Essence Communications Inc. “From the powerhouse performances on the main stage to the more intimate jam sessions in the Superlounges, the Essence Music Festival offers blues, funk, classics and neo-soul that our audience craves to renew their spirit and connect to their joy.”

According to, Grammy Award winners Chaka Khan and Jennifer Hudson are joining the star-studded festival lineup, which will also feature a New Edition reunion and a host of other artists helping to celebrate all that is Rhythm and Blues.

This will be JHud’s first time performing at the festival and we’re sure the crowd can’t wait to see the Essence Cover Girl and current weight-loss queen sport her new body across the stage.

Other headliners include Mary J. Blige, Trey Songz, Jill Scott, Kanye West, Charlie Wilson, Boyz II Men, George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic, Doug E. Fresh, Naughty By Nature and Mavis Staples.

This musical gumbo is sure to fill any music-lover’s appetite!

For more on the festival and a complete list of performances, visit

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