Kendrick Lamar, Mary J. Blige lead 2015 Essence Festival lineup
UPDATE: Essence Festival has announced its night-by-night lineup. The festival will open on Thursday, July 2, with the What Now? Tour, featuring Kevin Hart. Trey Songz and Lecrae will also perform. Charlie Wilson, India.Aire, Kem, and a still-secret group of “New Orleans’ finest” will play the mainstage on Friday, July 3. The festival’s Independence Day performers will include Usher, Missy Elliott, Erykah Badu, and Common. Essence Festival newcomer Kendrick Lamar will close out the multi-day event on Sunday, July 5, sharing a bill with Mary J.