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WWLTV.com

NEW ORLEANS - Essence Festival producers have unveiled a partial lineup for this year and said they are dropping the word 'music' from the event's title to emphasize its all-encompassing nature.

The 19th annual event, scheduled for July 4-7 in New Orleans, will feature headliners Jill Scott, Maxwell, New Edition, LL Cool J, Brandy, Charlie Wilson and Keyshia Cole, organizers announced Tuesday.

More than 30 acts, on eight live music stages, are scheduled at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, with more to be announced, producers said.

The altered Essence Festival title is designed to emphasize expanded cultural and community programming and make the event about more than just music, according to a news release.

Rev. Al Sharpton, Rep. John Lewis and Dr. Steve Perry are among the more than 50 speakers and authors scheduled to appear in seminars at the Morial Convention Center.





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