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Essence Festival 2013: Brandy, Maxwell heading to New Orleans
By Billboard Staff ,  Billboard

Brandy, Jill Scott, Keyshia Cole and Maxwell are among the entertainers set to perform at the 2013 Essence Festival, which returns to New Orleans for four days in July.

The 19th annual celebration of black music and culture will be held July 4-7 at the Superdome and the nearby convention center, where speakers like Rev. Al Sharpton and Rep. John Lewis, a congressman and civil rights leader, will give lectures, the New York Times reports.

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Other performers include New Edition, LL Cool J, Big Daddy Kane and Charlie Wilson, while smaller stages will feature Anthony David, Bridget Kelly, Les Nubians Mint Condition and the new jack swing stalwarts, Blackstreet.

Maxwell's performance will come a year after the neo-soul star had to cancel a comeback tour due to vocal hemorrhaging. He is currently working on his fifth studio album, "SUMMERS'," expected to be released later this year.

The festival began as a one-time event celebrating the 25th anniversary of Essence magazine.

Last year's event featured performances by Aretha Franklin, Chaka Khan and Mary J. Blige as well as D'Angelo, Dru Hill, Charlie Wilson and Melanie Fiona.

Copyright 2013 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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