NEW YORK, March 15, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- ESSENCE.com and Grammy nominated, platinum recording artist Pebbles have joined forces in search of the next R&B superstar! Beginning on March 19 aspiring artists can log on to essence.com/RBStar to enter to win a talent competition like none other! The lucky winner receives an instant pass to stardom with a one-year artist management contract with music industry veteran Kevin Liles' KWL Enterprises, a feature in an upcoming issue of ESSENCE and a once-in-lifetime opportunity to hit the stage for a featured performance during the 2011 Essence Music Festival (July 1st-3rd in New Orleans).
Pebbles and Liles are both music industry veterans who each have established careers in developing talent—including best selling acts TLC, Trey Songz and more. Lauded by Island Def Jam Chairman, LA Reid as a "visionary", Pebbles will lend her artist development expertise and proven track record to the competition as executive producer and host of the contest's online component. Read more about LA Reid's "massive respect" for Pebbles on essence.com! http://www.essence.com/entertainment/allaccess/exclusive_la_reid_perri_pebbles_reid_essence_rb_star.php
"It is an honor to partner with ESSENCE an iconic brand that shares my love and commitment to the celebration of black music," says Pebbles. "I look forward to furthering our contributions to this genre by identifying the next undeniable superstar talent!"
The talent competition will kick off in Atlanta on March 20 with a private celebration hosted by the city's most influential tastemakers including Steve & Marjorie Harvey, Mayor Kasim Reed, radio host Frank Ski, music power players Devyne Stephens, Chaka Zulu, Dallas Austin and Real Housewives of Atlanta star Cynthia Bailey.
In search of the most talented voices in R&B, the Essence R&B Star competition will have live auditions in Atlanta, Los Angeles and New York City. Surprise celebrity judges including Pebbles and Liles, as well as a local radio personality will attend each of the auditions. Contestants who are unable to make it to the local market auditions can submit online to essence.com from March 21- April 20th.
Live auditions will take place on the following dates:
14th Street Playhouse
Los Angeles, CA
New York, NY
Time & Life Building
Following the auditions, judges will narrow down the field to six contestants from the in-market auditions and online submissions. In May, the six contestants will begin their road to the Festival with a one-week trip to Atlanta for an artist boot camp, where they'll get to work with the best in the business to hone all aspects of their craft—including media training, styling, voice lessons and more. Once the artist boot camp ends, voting will begin via essence.com and mobile devices.
On June 17 three finalists will be chosen to take the final journey to New Orleans to the Festival. On-site, the finalists will make special appearances during the daytime sessions at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center. Finalists will have three days to make an impression as Essence Music Festival attendees and essence.com readers will cast their votes for the final winner. By process of elimination the winner will be announced Sunday at the Convention Center and will offer an exclusive performance on Sunday night.
The entire process of ESSENCE Presents: R&B Star will unfold on essence.com/RBStar. The site will feature photo galleries and interactive webisodes of the "best and worst" from the casting sessions, judges' commentary, boot camp highlights and the finale performance at EMF. For updates on the contest, visit Essence.com/RBStar. Sign up for the ESSENCE Music Festival newsletter, follow us on Twitter @essencemusic 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.