Lionel Richie, Mary J Blige, Erykah Badu Join Prince for Essence Fest 2014

Lionel Richie, Mary J. Blige, Jill Scott, Charlie Wilson, Erykah Badu and Ledisi have joined the previously announced Prince on the main stage roster of the 2014 Essence Festival in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans. The 20th anniversary Essence Fest is due to take place July 3rd-6th, 2014.

The secondary “superlounge” stages in the Superdome’s corridors will also feature 112, Amel Larrieux, Doug E Fresh, Elle Varner, Eve, King, Leela James, Liv Warfield, Marsha Ambrosius, Naughty by Nature, Raheem Devaughn, Robert Glasper, Sebastian Mikael, Sevyn Streeter and Stephanie Mills. The superlounges are also set to play host to numerous New Orleans natives, including PJ Morton who, like his father, Bishop Paul S. Morton, is nominated for a Grammy Award this year, as well as Kourtney Heart, Big Sam’s Funky Nation and the Original Pinettes Brass Band.

Radio personality Nephew Tommy is scheduled to fulfill emcee duties for the main stage again this year.

The free, daytime empowerment seminars in the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center will feature Rev. Al Sharpton, Steve Harvey, Iyanla Vanzant and a gospel tribute to Yolanda Adams.

Essence Fest’s 2014 line up represents a broad cross section of some of the festival’s previous line ups. Richie played the festival most recently in 2009, but also made an appearance a few years earlier, in 2005.

Blige is also something of an Essence Fest veteran, having played the festival most recently in 2012. Similarly, Scott played the shindig last year. Badu has remained absent from the Essence line up in recent years, but performed several times across the ’90s and ’00s.

So, even though the line up couldn’t exactly be considered revolutionary, it is a good one.