ESSENCE Presents a Special 40th Anniversary Commemorative Event During 2010 GRAMMY(R) Week

ESSENCE Black Women in Music: Honoring the Career & Accomplishments of MARY J. BLIGE

Jan 19, 2010, 12:51 ET from Essence Communications Inc.

NEW YORK, Jan. 19 /PRNewswire/ -- To commemorate the 40th Anniversary of ESSENCE magazine, ESSENCE will host a reception honoring nine-time GRAMMY-winner Mary J. Blige during 2010 GRAMMY® Week. ESSENCE Black Women in Music is an invitation-only, red-carpet event taking place on Wednesday, January 27, to fete the career and accomplishments of Mary J. Blige as an influential artist, successful entrepreneur and passionate philanthropist.

"In honor of our 40th anniversary, ESSENCE is committed to celebrating both the achievements and promise of Black women like Mary J. Blige—who absolutely delights us with her creative gifts, and continues to inspire us through her extraordinary work as a businesswoman and humanitarian," said ESSENCE president Michelle Ebanks.  "We are excited to pay tribute to Mary J. Blige during GRAMMY week with this first-ever ESSENCE Black Women in Music award."

ESSENCE Black Women in Music honoree Mary J. Blige is profiled in the February issue of ESSENCE magazine—on newsstands now—as part of an exclusive "GRAMMY Insider" editorial package. A multi-faceted entertainer, mogul and philanthropist, with a career spanning 15 years—including nine GRAMMY awards, eight multi-platinum records, and over 40 million albums sold—Blige just released her ninth studio album, Stronger with Each Tear.  Her range as an entertainer also includes star turns as an actor—most recently in Tyler Perry's I Can Do Bad All By Myself, 30 Rock, and Entourage.  As an entrepreneur, she is the co-owner of the successful beauty line, Carol's Daughter, and manages her own music, TV and film company, Matriarch Entertainment.  In addition to these creative and business ventures, Mary is dedicated to giving back through her non-profit organization FFAWN  (Foundation For The Advancement Of Women Now), which is dedicated to inspiring women from all walks of life to gain the confidence and skills they need to reach their fullest potential.

Lincoln is the sponsor of ESSENCE Black Women in Music, with cocktails provided by Belvedere.

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 (WOW I & II) and Smart Beauty I, II & III consumer insights, the Essence Book Club, Essence.com, and ventures in digital media (mobile, television and VOD). For 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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