Alicia Keys  will join spokesperson Mary J. Blige  as a headliner of the 16th annual Essence Music Festival, to be held July 2-4, in New Orleans. LL Cool J , Estelle , and Trey Songz  are among the other additions to the previously announced lineup featuring Gladys Knight , Earth, Wind & Fire , De La Soul , Keri Hilson , Jill Scott , Melanie Fiona  and Raphael Saadiq .
The 2010 edition will celebrate the 40th anniversary of Essence Magazine, as well as mark Keys' third appearance at the festival; the singer last performed there in 2005. Additionally, the festival will honor the local music of New Orleans this year, with special performances by: Arrested Development , Big Sam's Funky Nation, DJ Soul Sister, Hot 8 Brass Band, Irma Thomas , Irvin Mayfield  and NOJO, Ivan Neville 's Dumpstaphunk, Kermit Ruffins  and the Barbecue Swingers, Lalah Hathaway , Leo Jackson and the Melody Clouds, Little Freddie King , Mary Mary, Mint Condition , Monica , Rebirth Brass Band, Sam & Ruby, Shamarr Allen and the Underdawgs, Soul Rebels Brass Band and WAR.
The presenting sponsor for the 2010 Essence Music Festival is Coca-Cola. Other 2010 sponsors include Coors Light, CoverGirl Queen, Ford, McDonald's, Olay, Pantene, U.S. Army and My Black is Beautiful. Weekend packages for the event are now available at www.essencemusicfestival.com .
- News