Legendary Hip-Hop Artist Nas Tapped To Headline ESSENCE Now Playing Concert Commemorating 20 Years Of ESSENCE Fest And 20 Years Of 'Illmatic' ALSO PERFORMING: TREY SONGZ, K. MICHELLE, JAZMINE SULLIVAN AND MORE

JULY 3 NEW ORLEANS, LA

NEW YORK, May 1, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Legendary hip-hop artist and musical innovator Nas, whose critically-acclaimed documentary, 'Time is Illmatic,' was the hit of last month's Tribeca Film Festival, will kick off the 20th Anniversary ESSENCE Festival weekend as headliner of the ESSENCE Now Playing concert, also featuring R&B crooner Trey Songz, as well as R&B/soul songstresses K. Michelle and Jazmine Sullivan.  More artists will be announced in the coming weeks. The ESSENCE Now Playing concert is taking place at the Louisiana Superdome on Thursday, July 3, leading in to the 20th Anniversary ESSENCE Festival weekend, July 3-6, in New Orleans, LA.

"ESSENCE is excited to welcome hip-hop legend and musical prodigy Nas to kick off our 20th Anniversary celebration, especially as he commemorates his own impressive 20 year milestone," said ESSENCE President Michelle Ebanks. "The ESSENCE Festival promises 20 stages of programming to honor our 20th anniversary with more than 70 artists performing across our music stages. The addition of Nas, Trey Songz, K. Michelle and Jazmine Sullivan for the ESSENCE Now Playing concert is an incredible lead-in to Festival weekend and rounds out an entertainment experience not-to-be-missed!" 

ESSENCE tapped legendary hip-hop artist Nas to headline the special Now Playing concert performance in celebration of the 20th anniversary of the ESSENCE Festival and also his iconic debut album, Illmatic.  Illmatic has been lauded by critics as one of the most exemplary hip-hop recordings of all time and contributed to the revival of the New York City rap scene; consistently ranked near the top of many "best album" lists.

For more information and to purchase floor tickets for the ESSENCE Now Playing concert, visit www.essencefestival.com.  Join the conversation @essencefest #essencefest and visit us on Facebook/EssenceFest.

ABOUT ESSENCE COMMUNICATIONS INC.:

Essence Communications Inc. (ECI) is the number one media company dedicated to African-American women, with a multi-platform presence in publishing, live events, and online.  The company's flagship publication, ESSENCE magazine, is the preeminent lifestyle magazine for African-American women; generating brand extensions such as the Essence Festival, ESSENCE Black Women in Hollywood and Black Women in Music, Window on Our Women and Smart Beauty consumer insights series, the Essence Book Club, Essence.com, and ventures in digital media (mobile, television and VOD). For 44 years, ESSENCE, which has a brand reach of 11.5 million, has been the leading source of cutting-edge information and specific solutions relating to every area of African-American women's lives.  Additional information about ECI and ESSENCE is available at www.essence.com.

SOURCE Essence Communications Inc.



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