ESSENCE Festival had a very special relationship with Prince, who headlined our 20th anniversary event in 2014 with a performance that was truly legendary. And like the rest of the world, we shed purple tears after his passing in April.
This weekend ESSENCE Festival will celebrate the life of Prince Rogers Nelson on Sunday, July 3. The New Orleans-themed tribute, which will kick off the closing night at the Superdome, will feature members of Prince’s beloved band, the New Power Generation, as well as Larry Graham, Marsha Ambrosius, Kelly Price, D-Nice and Doug E. Fresh.
“I thanked and appreciated him in life as I heartachingly do thereafter,” says Ambrosius. “Understanding his musical intent and precision since I was a child to this very day, there will never be another. His music [is] forever lasting!”
In recognition of Prince’s special relationship with New Orleans, NOLA natives Luke James, Stooges Brass Band and The Roots of Music will also take the stage. The musical tribute, featuring other special guests, will be followed by a second-line ceremony in Prince’s honor.
The Prince celebration will be one of many highlights of a star-studded musical lineup that includes headliners Maxwell (Friday, July 1), Mariah Carey (Saturday, July 2) and Kendrick Lamar (Sunday, July 3). So you know where you’ll want to be this weekend for some serious July 4th fireworks!