Nas to Headline Essence Festival Kickoff

Nas performs at the 2014 Coachella Music and Arts Festival on Saturday, April 19, 2014, in Indio, California

Zach Cordner/Invision/AP

Trey Songz, K. Michelle, Jazmine Sullivan also on the bill for the Essence "Now Playing" concert

Nas has been tapped to kick off the 20th anniversary Essence Festival weekend as headliner of the Essence "Now Playing" concert. Being staged at the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans on July 3, the concert will also feature Trey Songz, K. Michelle and Jazmine Sullivan. Additional performers will be announced in the coming weeks.

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Like the Essence Festival, rapper Nas is celebrating his own 20th anniversary, marking the release of his seminal 1994 debut album "Illmatic." The celebration thus far has included Sony Legacy's  two-CD anniversary package "Illmatic XX," performances on the Coachella stage and "The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon" plus the premiere screening of the documentary "Time Is Illmatic" at the Tribeca Film Festival in April.

As previously reported, Prince will headline the Essence Festival's first night of mainstage concerts on July 4. Additional mainstage performers over the next two nights include Mary J. Blige, Jill Scott and The Roots (July 5) and Lionel Richie, Charlie Wilson and Erykah Badu (July 6). Among the artists set to perform in the Superlounges each of those three nights are Stephanie Mills, 112, Liv Warfield, Marsha Ambrosius, Robert Glasper, Sevyn Streeter, Elle Varner and August Alsina.

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