NEW ORLEANS, May 8 /PRNewswire/ -- The 2003 Coca-Cola Presents the Essence Music Festival, set for July 3, 4, and 5 in New Orleans is getting bigger and better. Stevie Wonder, Erykah Badu, Babyface, Yolanda Adams, Musiq, and Kindred have been added to an-already stellar lineup. The Coca-Cola Presents the Essence Music Festival strives to make this year's lineup the best ever. The addition of multi-Grammy Award winner Stevie Wonder takes this year's music festival to another level. While continuing to positively impact today's music scene, this prolific songwriter of such brilliant bodies of work including Music of My Mind, Talking Book, Innervisions, Songs in the Key of Life, Hotter Than July, Jungle Fever, Conversation Peace and Natural Wonder is undoubtedly one of the most influential music artists of our time. The Essence Music Festival is proud to have this great musician and social activist as part of this year's line-up of outstanding performers. Entering its ninth year, the Festival's famous format, which combines the hottest artists with the most revered, features a lineup of some of the most popular names in classic and contemporary R&B, hip-hop, soul, blues, reggae, smooth jazz, go-go, comedy and more. All will be presented at the event's popular series of evening concerts in the Louisiana Superdome. The current schedule of performers includes: THURSDAY, JULY 3 FRIDAY, JULY 4 SATURDAY, JULY 5 Main Stage Main Stage Main Stage Stevie Wonder Artist to be Announced Maze featuring Erykah Badu P. Diddy and the Bad Boy Frankie Beverly Jamie Foxx Family featuring P. Diddy, Anita Baker Babyface New Edition, Faith Evans, Smokey Robinson Yolanda Adams Carl Thomas and Loon Heather Headley Chaka Khan Tom Joyner & The Crew, Jaheim Hosts A.J. Jamal, Host THURSDAY, JULY 3 FRIDAY, JULY 4 SATURDAY, JULY 5 Superlounges Superlounges Superlounges Musiq Biz Markie & Doug E. Fresh Will Downing Keith Sweat Michael Franks Nappy Roots Dianne Reeves S.O.S. Band Bobby "Blue" Bland Third World Kindred Chuck Brown & the Soul Searchers NOTE: Previously announced, for July 3, hip-hop artists Nelly and the St. Lunatics will not appear due to family obligations. Wanda Sykes, will no longer serve as host on July 4. Luther Vandross, who was scheduled for July 4, also will not appear. The Festival's main stage and four Superlounges -- unique nightclub settings created in the Superdome exclusively for the Coca-Cola Presents the Essence Music Festival -- showcase non-stop entertainment in a five-stage format that places the Festival in a class by itself. "This year's Essence Music Festival is looking to be one of our very best," said Edward Lewis, Chairman and CEO of Essence Communications Partners. "We're presenting a potent lineup of some of today's most popular artists, while balancing these exciting night-time activities with a series of uplifting seminars during the day. This unique combination is what makes our Festival-goers come back year after year." Known as "the party with a purpose," the Coca-Cola Presents the Essence Music Festival also provides free empowerment seminars during the day inside the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center. Gospel star Donnie McClurkin, will perform on July 3 for "Living in the Spirit" seminar series; the renowned Dr. Juanita Bynum will deliver a keynote address on July 4 for the "Living and Loving Stress Free in 2003!" seminar day and best-selling author Iyanla Vanzant will address festival-goers on July 5 for a day dedicated to "Power, Respect and Images." Complete details regarding the Seminar Series schedule, the Essence Marketplace and other Convention Center events will be released in the coming weeks. The Essence Marketplace -- with fine Festival-style New Orleans cuisine, Afro-centric arts and crafts, author book signings, celebrity meet-and-greets, the Essence Boutique, and Festival souvenirs-will also be a part of the exciting variety of Convention Center activities. Tickets for the Coca-Cola Presents the Essence Music Festival 2003 are on sale now at ticketmaster.com, or by calling (800) 488-5252, (504) 522-5555 in New Orleans, or (225) 761-8400 in Baton Rouge. Ticket prices are $35, $45, $55, with floor seating available at $75 and a very limited number of Golden Circle Seats at $125. Tickets are subject to additional service charges. Destination Management, Inc. (DMI), the official tour operator for the Festival, can be reached at (800) 762-9523 for hotel accommodations, airfare and complete travel packages. For additional information, see ESSENCE magazine, visit essence.com or AOL Keyword: Essence Music Festival. The Coca-Cola Company is the Festival's title sponsor for the sixth consecutive year. The event is also sponsored in part by Chevrolet, Burger King, Anheuser-Busch Companies, makers of Budweiser, Luster Products Earth Secrets, Southwest Airlines, the official airline of The ESSENCE Music Festival, HBO and the City of New Orleans. Scholarship and college information provided by U.S. Army ROTC. Essence Festivals, a division of Essence Entertainment, in association with Festival Productions of New Orleans, produces the Essence Music Festival, the largest gathering of African-Americans in the U.S. Essence Entertainment currently produces the Essence Awards, a primetime network television special, and is a wholly owned subsidiary of Essence Communication Partners, parent company of world-renowned ESSENCE magazine.
SOURCE Essence Entertainment