Tyra Banks, Misty Copeland, Iyanla Vanzant to empower at Essence Festival

The 2016 Essence Festival not only will feature some of the biggest names in music but also will have a star-studded line up on the signature daytime Essence Empowerment stage.

Essence Announces 2016 Festival Speakers

Festival attendees this year can participate in free and open conversations and keynote addresses with stars including Tyra Banks, Misty Copeland, Cookie Johnson, Iyanla Vanzant, Terry McMillan, Phaedra Parks and Rev. Al Sharpton, plus performances from Tony Award-winner Patina Miller, Travis Greene, Tasha Paige Lockhart, Kierra Sheard and Yolanda Adams.

Tamron Hall: ‘Essence Made Me Confident in Black Beauty’

“The ESSENCE Empowerment Experience Stage remains the heartbeat of Festival weekend with its diverse and impactful programming aimed at enlightening and inspiring our community,” said ESSENCE Editor-in-Chief Vanessa K. De Luca. “The current social climate has brought to light highly important issues, and we plan to continue these conversations at this year’s ESSENCE Festival in New Orleans.”

Top Five NOLA Soul Food Restaurants

“Not only will our programming emphasize topics such as love and relationships, personal finance and entrepreneurship, but we will also take a deeper look into our community’s most pressing political concerns to prepare ourselves for the upcoming presidential election.”

Grammy-winner Kendrick Lamar will headline the festival, which takes place from June 30 to July 3. Joining Lamar over the four nights at the New Orleans Superdome are Mariah Carey, Ciara, Maxwell, Andra Day, New Edition, Babyface, Charlie Wilson, Faith Evans, and more.

Essence Festival Marketplace Encourages Commerce

Also performing are Leon Bridges, DeJ Loaf,  MC Lytes, Lalah Hathaway, Estelle, Doug E. Fresh, Kelly Price, Tyrese, V. Bozeman and more.