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Six Semi-Finalists Announced in ESSENCE+Pebbles Present: R&B Star!

LUCKY WINNER TO RECEIVE RECORD DEAL, MANAGEMENT CONTRACT, FEATURE IN ESSENCE MAGAZINE AND DEBUT PERFORMANCE AT THE 2011 ESSENCE MUSIC FESTIVAL IN NEW ORLEANS!

LOG ON TO ESSENCE.COM/RBSTAR TO SUBMIT YOUR VOTE FOR THE ULTIMATE WINNER!

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NEW YORK, June 1, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Six talented vocalists have been selected as semi-finalists, beating out hundreds of hopeful contestants vying for a record deal, management contract, ESSENCE magazine feature and performance debut at the 2011 ESSENCE Music Festival  in the ESSENCE + Pebbles Present: R&B Star competition. The lucky finalists are: Todd "T.C." Corbitt of Queens, NY; Ziemia Young, Brooklyn, NY; Andrae "Dre" Riley, Milwaukee, WI; Greta Prince, Lithonia, GA; Charnel Allen, Chester, PA; and Jennah Hughes-Taylor, Washington, DC. ESSENCE and Pebbles traveled to Atlanta, Los Angeles and New York City and reviewed numerous video auditions in search of the next R&B superstar talent!

(Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20110601/NY12409)

'Making of an R&B Star' webisodes—with exclusive behind-the-scenes footage from the auditions, boot camp and review process—are on Essence.com/rbstar. In a recent webisode, viewers get a sneak peek as Grammy nominated, platinum, recording artist Pebbles, host and executive producer of the competition, and R&B recording artist Q Parker, formerly of 112, review contestants who will later become the final six.

"There is something unique and special about each of the finalists that were chosen," says Pebbles. "I was pleased with their development following our artist boot camp training and I look forward to the response from Essence.com readers as we move towards choosing an ultimate winner!"

The repeated question is: Who Will Win?! Now that the finalists have been chosen, Essence.com readers can visit Essence.com/rbstar to cast their vote on the new R&B Star! Based on votes, the finalists will narrow down to three contestants who will then travel to New Orleans for the 2011 ESSENCE Music Festival. The final three will perform at the Festival, earning another opportunity to win over viewers and ESSENCE Music Festival attendees before the final winner is selected. The lucky winner will get the opportunity of a lifetime as a featured performer to hit the stage during the ESSENCE Music Festival.

Readers won't want to miss a single minute of it as it will all unfold on Essence.com/rbstar!

For updates on the contest, visit Essence.com/rbstar.  Sign up for the ESSENCE Music Festival newsletter, follow us on Twitter @essencemusic, re-tweet us #essencerbstar or on Facebook at Essence Music Festival.

About Essence Communications Inc.:

Essence Communications Inc. (ECI) is the number one media and communications company dedicated to African-American women.  With a multi-platform presence in publishing, live events, and online, the Essence brand is "Where Black Women Come First."  The company's flagship publication, ESSENCE magazine, is the preeminent lifestyle magazine for African-American women; generating brand extensions such as the Essence Music Festival, ESSENCE Black Women in Hollywood, Window on Our Women and Smart Beauty consumer insights, the Essence Book Club, Essence.com, and ventures in digital media (mobile, television and VOD). For more than 40 years, ESSENCE magazine, which has a brand reach of over 8 million, has been the leading source of cutting-edge information relating to every area of African-American women's lives. Additional information about ECI and ESSENCE is available at essence.com.

SOURCE Essence Communications Inc.



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