Celebrating its 23rd year, the festival will return to the Superdome in New Orleans on June 30-July 2, 2017.
Ross, a recent recipient of the Medal of Freedom, will be making her festival debut. Blige, who wrapped her King and Queen of Hearts Tour with Maxwell this week (Dec. 14), will helm a special night themed “My Path to Strength,” tied to her forthcoming album Strength of a Woman. The 2017 Essence Festival lineup to date also includes John Legend, Chaka Khan, Teyana Taylor and current Grammy nominees Lalah Hathaway, Solange and Ro James. Additional performers will be announced in the coming weeks.
“This year’s festival lineup puts women at the forefront of an incredible weekend of entertainment featuring more than 40 performers,” said Essence president Michelle Ebanks in a release announcing the initial slate.
Weekend ticket packages for the 2017 Essence Festival, presented by Coca-Cola, go on sale on Dec. 16. For more information, visit essence.com.
Also joining the aforementioned acts at the 2017 Essence Festival thus far are:
Doug E. Fresh
Sir the Baptist
The Jones Girls featuring Shirley Jones
Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue