Stevie Wonder, Erykah Badu, Babyface, Yolanda Adams, Musiq, and Kindred Added to Stellar Lineup of Performers At The Coca-Cola Presents the Essence Music Festival July 3, 4, 5 in New Orleans Donnie McClurkin, Iyanla Vanzant and Dr. Juanita Bynum to Lead

Empowerment Seminars



Other Schedule Updates Announced



    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

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