Yolanda Adams, Maurette Brown Clark, Kim BurrellByron Cage, Tyronne Foster & The Arc Singers, Tramaine HawkinsIsrael Houghton, Bishop Lester Love and  Pastor Marvin Winans will come together and salute gospel mega-stars Fred Hammond and Mary Mary on Sunday, July 8th at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center as part of the 2012 ESSENCE Music Festival. The tribute culminates the three day annual ESSENCE Empowerment Experience taking place in New Orleans July 6-8 where attendees will celebrate the power of their spirits and are guaranteed to have an uplifting experience of entertainment and empowerment.

In addition, with their first ever EMF performances, ESSENCE welcomes Grammy award winning rapper/actress Eve, who along with Robert GlasperGary Clark Jr. and Alex Boyd will appear for the first time at the legendary Louisiana Superdome.  Seven time Grammy award winning gospel singer Kirk Franklin has also been announced to return to the main stage. They will join the previously announced line-up, which includes the iconic Aretha Franklin, “Queen of Hip-Hop & R&B” Mary J. Blige, the legendary Charlie Wilson, the incomparable Ledisi, “American Idol” winner Fantasia, the sensational Stephanie Mills, R&B favorite Keyshia Cole and so much more. More talent additions will be announced in the near future.

In addition to the colossal music line-up, the audience can look forward to the annual ESSENCE Empowerment Experience, which is free and open to the public at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center. Festival-goers will experience three full days of socio-political dialogue, health and wellness discussions and spiritual inspiration led by dynamic motivational speakers. The rousing All-star Gospel tribute honoring gospel mega-stars Fred Hammond and Mary Mary will round out the 3 day experience with an initial roster of leading authors, speakers and leaders including Steve Harvey, Rev. Al Sharpton, Rep. Maxine Watersand Dr. Steve Perry with other names to be announced.

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