The 2023 ESSENCE Festival of Culture™ presented by Coca-Cola® is continuing and celebs are sizzling in NOLA.
Temperatures in New Orleans are sky-high but the crowds keep coming to see A-listers who represent the best in Blackness spanning from music to television to politics.
The Ernest N. Memorial Convention Center has been flooded with stars who are connecting with fans while promoting their projects.
Included in that group is the cast of The Color Purple; Fantasia Barrino, Taraji P. Henson, and Danielle Brooks.
The gorgeous girls were joined by their director Blitz Bazawule and (of course) Oprah Winfrey who revived the classic film into a musical with Steven Spielberg.
The group spoke on the main stage for a panel titled “Page to the Stage and Beyond: A Discussion of the nearly 40-Year Legacy and Impact of The Color Purple.”
They also flaunted extravagantly fly fashions much to the delight of Essence fest attendees.
Also seen on the Essence Fest scene was Vice President Kamala Harris who joined the Global Black Economic Forum™ Headquarters Stage.
Hit the flip for that.
Madame Vice President was interviewed by lawyer, journalist, author, and television host Sunny Hostin who provided attendees with insight into the fight for reproductive freedom.
She also denounced the Supreme Court’s decision to strike down Affirmative Action.
“The highest court in our land has made a decision today on affirmative action and I feel compelled to speak about it and I’m sure that I share the sentiment and the feeling of everyone in this room, in terms of the deep disappointment,” said VP Harris.
“The disappointment is because this is now a moment where the court has not fully understood the importance of equal opportunity for the people of our country and it is in so many ways a denial of opportunity. And it is a complete misnomer to suggest that this is about colorblind,” she added.
The Secretary of the Treasury Janet Yellen also joined the GBEF HQ Stage to discuss how the Biden-Harris administration is working to advance economic opportunity for Black people, businesses, and communities.
These leading ladies in politics spoke ahead of some leading ladies in music hitting the stage at the Caesars Palace Superdome.
Hit the flip for more on the Essence Fest concerts.
Essence Festival’s Nighttime Concerts Include Lauryn Hill, Coco Jones, Jermaine Dupri, Jill Scott, & Missy Elliott
The Superdome proved yet again to be the place to be at Essence Fest 2023.
Lauryn Hill closed out night one of the fest and performed hits for her iconic album’s 25th anniversary.
Coco Jones also belted out vocals while singing tracks from her “What I Didn’t Tell” You EP including “ICU.”
The stunner was joined by Jermaine Dupri who celebrated 50 years of Hip-Hop by bringing all-stars onstage including Big Boi, T.I., Ludacris, Gucci Mane, Ludacris and Lil Jon. The iconic set had the Superdome rocking and basking in nostalgia.
Not to be outdone, Jill Scott and her incredible band put on an incredible performance
“This is live music, mothaf***s!” Jill exclaimed to the crowd.
She also shared that she was especially grateful to be opening up for the night’s headliner; Missy Elliott.
— Sherlon Christie (@sherlonchristie) July 2, 2023
Missy put on an epic performance for Essence Fest attendees via an intergalatic themed show.
🔥 Witnessing the iconic @MissyElliott at @Essencefest was an absolute moment for the books! 🙌🎶 Forever blown away by her talent and legendary performances. #MissyElliott #EssenceFest pic.twitter.com/dxcH6rRQ2S
— Visit New Orleans (@VisitNewOrleans) July 2, 2023
In between jumping into the crowd and running through the audience with her dancers, Missy performed “One Minute Man”, “Get Ur Feak On”, “Lose Control”, “Hot Boyz”, and “The Rain (Supa Dupa Fly.”
— half introvert half with the shits… (@reb3lboytroy) July 2, 2023
Essence Fest watchers gushed over the icon’s performance…
The graphics, the pyrotechnics, thr lighting…the wristbands! pic.twitter.com/sV6oD0ejJ1
— Above the Clouds (@SimplyYoso) July 2, 2023
and later, celebs celebrated Missy’s birthday at a private sneaker ball.
Missy blew out 52 candles on her birthday cake Saturday and partied with the likes of Letoya Luckett, Ari Lennox, Deon Cole, Yandy Smith and more at a private Supa Dupa Fly Sneaker Ball Birthday Celebration.
Happy birthday Missy!
What do YOU think about what’s going down at Essence Fest? You can continue to stream all the fun via Hulu.