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Essence Festival announces 2023 lineup: Ms. Lauryn Hill, Megan Thee Stallion, Wizkid, Jermaine Dupri & more

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NEW YORK – Now what you hear is not a test: The 2023 ESSENCE Festival of Culture™,
presented by Coca-Cola® is back in New Orleans for its 29th year and a celebration of 50 years of hip-hop.
From fresh fits to lyrical hits, the in-person and virtual experience will both explore and showcase how
hip-hop has impacted every aspect of global culture through daytime programming and nightly shows.

Ever a hallmark of ESSENCE Festival of Culture™ are the live evening performances, which feature some
of the most award-winning hip-hop artists to rock the mic over the last 50 years including headliners Ms.
Lauryn Hill, who will give a special performance of the 5x Grammy-winning album “The Miseducation of
Lauryn Hill” in recognition of its 25th anniversary, and 3x Grammy Award-winning artist, Megan Thee
Stallion. Doug E. Fresh will curate a special performance of hip-hop pioneers, and in honor of So So Def’s
30th anniversary, Grammy award-winning super producer and label founder, Jermaine Dupri, will deliver
a special performance with some of the biggest names in hip-hop to come out of Atlanta. Other artists
joining the 2023 ESSENCE Festival of Culture™ stage include Wizkid, Monica, Coco Jones and Kizz Daniel.

Fans can look forward to laughs every night with evening hosts Deon Cole, Affion Crockett, Spice Adams
and Janelle James, as well as sounds by DJ Spinderella, DJ Kid Capri and DJ Clark Kent. Additional talent
and experiences will be announced soon.

Like hip-hop, the ESSENCE Festival of Culture™ is more than just the music. Attendees will embark on a
celebration of hip-hop’s rich history across stages and experiences throughout the four-day event, which
will kick-off on June 29th. The multi-generational experience entrenched in culture, equity, and
celebration extends ESSENCE’s long-standing commitment to creating opportunities that will
economically benefit and contribute to local Black-owned businesses.

“For nearly three decades, the ESSENCE Festival of Culture™ has been an international and joyful
gathering that empowers community throughout the global Black diaspora. As the nation’s largest festival
by per day attendance, it continues to be a crown jewel of Black culture and plays a pivotal role in the
amplification and celebration of the contributions of the Black community through business, music, and
more. As we gear up to celebrate the ‘50th Anniversary of Hip-Hop’, we couldn’t think of a better way to
honor the contributions the genre has made on global culture and the impressions that these artists and
their deep musical catalogs, which we all know so well, have been ingrained into the fibers of our day to
day lives,” said Hakeem Holmes, newly appointed Vice President of ESSENCE Festival of Culture™.

Last year, the ESSENCE Festival of Culture™ saw 1.9 million live and virtual attendees, increased revenue,
and brought in new and reinvested sponsors – marking the highest revenue and largest audience in its
history. The 2023 Festival is excited to bring back new and returning activations steeped in hip-hop
culture, to celebrate the community, including nightly concerts at the Superdome, ESSENCE Food & Wine
Festival, Beautycon: ESSENCE Festival of Culture™ Edition, AFROPUNK: ESSENCE Festival of Culture™
Edition, ESSENCE Center Stage, ESSENCE Marketplace, New Voices Village, Community Corner, ESSENCE
Authors, Global Black Economic Forum and Village, Girl’s United House, ESSENCE Family Day: The Block
and more. The 2023 ESSENCE Festival of Culture™ is presented by Coca-Cola® and major partners, AT&T,
L’Oréal, McDonald’s USA and Target Corporation.

Tickets for the 2023 ESSENCE Festival of Culture™ presented by Coca-Cola® are now on sale at
www.ESSENCEFestival.com, where consumers can also find festival information & updates. Join the
conversation on social @ESSENCEFest or experience the festival virtually on ESSENCE.com.

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Entertainment

Day 2: Grammy Nominee Jelly Roll closed out Riptide Music Festival 2023

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MAIMI, Fla. (FNN) – Day 2 offered big names in the alternative/rock world, but also had Audacy bringing back a touch of their Chili Cookoff roots with Jelly Roll headlining. The recent CMA New Artist of the Year, also nominated for 2 Grammy Awards, brought the fire…literally.

Local band Girlfriend Material opened the day with some fun songs including Adam’s Sandler’s “The Chanukkah Song”. Next, Barns Courtney had the fans jumping early as he joined them in the GA section to close our his set.

AWOLNATION showed why they get a lot of airtime on 104.3 The Shark and had the crowd clapping as they played their hit song “Sail”.

Sublime with Rome, one of the longest running bands at Riptide, played hit after hit as lead singer Rome Ramirez showed his appreciation for the road that Sublime paved. Multiple times he sang their praises as he shouted “Long Live Sublime.”

As the sun started to set on the day and festival, Lovely the Band showed why they were invited back to Riptide.

If you’ve never seen The Dirty Heads play, you might not know exactly what type of band they are. When asked on the red carpet, frontman Jared Watson said “That’s what I love about our band. I don’t think there is anyone else like us…I’m proud of that. You can call it alternative, you can call it reggae rock but it’s not really either of them…” Call it what you want (I say reggae/rap/alternative), they were obviously a crowd favorite.

Jelly Roll, who celebrated his 39th birthday on Sunday, closed out the festival singing all of his hits “Need A Favor” “Son of a Sinner”. He dropped in some cover medleys of old school country “Should’ve Been a Cowboy” and hip-hop “Boys in the Hood / Roughriders / Lose Yourself / Ms. Jackson / Just a Friend” as he shared stories of growing up being the youngest of 5. Jelly Roll is not your average man of god “I do not believe this is a concert. I believe this is family reunion of people that are human together…I believe that heaven has a smoking session and an open bar” he says right before he sang “Smoking Section”. He closed with his latest #1 Country Hit “Save Me” as sparkles rained down.

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Entertainment

Day 1: Riptide offers good music and a whole lotta fun

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FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (FNN) – Audacy’s Riptide Music Festival returned to Fort Lauderdale Beach yesterday with a solid lineup of bands you’d expect to see at a festival supported by 104.3 the Shark.

Photo by Matt Wolff / Florida National News

Jack Kays of Cincinnati, fresh off his tour, opened things on the Demesmin & Dover Stage. Little Image, a band from Austin, TX, who met in high school were first to play on the main Riptide Stage.

The Beaches (Canada) brought some girl power with their first US Billboard charted single “Blame Brett”. While LoveJoy didn’t rate their performance very high, the crowd was high energy and singing along to “Portrait of a Blank Slate”. Young the Giant (Irvine, CA) had the fans jumping up and down as they closed their set with “My Body”. Bleachers wasted no time as they jumped right in with “I Wanna Get Better”. Jack Antonoff, formerly of fun., was highly engaged with the crowded cracking NJ/Florida jokes, bouncing around, singing all their top songs including the live concert debut of “Modern Girl”. The Black Keys closed out a solid Day 1 of music with their hits “Gold on the Ceiling”, “Little Black Submarine” and “Lonely Boy.

Having been to dozens of music festivals with fans complaining about the crowds, it was a nice change of pace to not have to fight for every inch as the early sets weren’t as heavily attended as in the past. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. For the 2nd time in a row, the main stage was set facing north instead of to the ocean. This gave a lot more room for GA/VIP to hang out.

Aside from a fun day of music, there were a ton of great activations lead by the Ford Beach House. Whether it was the cowboy hat giveaway, DJ/bands playing, a limbo contest for VIP upgrade or a dance contest to Wobble/Dougie/Gangnam Style, the fans were highly entertained during and in-between performances. Twin Peaks Sports Bar was next door showing todays big games and giving away food/drink coupons. Goya (cookies) and Jolly Time (popcorn) provided the snacks, while Celcius and El Bandido Yankee Tequilla offered free beverage samples. If you are a fan of cigars, Al Capone was giving away cigarillos wrapping paper and lighters.

There was no shortage of giveaways including hats, towels, bags, sunglasses, fly swatters/fans. If you like music, the beach and free stuff, Day 1 didn’t disappoint.

Day 1: See more event photos at Florida National News’ Facebook page.

Day 2 offers big names in the alternative rock world, but also has Audacy bringing back a touch of their Chili Cookoff roots with Jelly Roll headlining.

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Matt Wolff is a South Florida reporter for Florida National News. | info@floridanationalnews.com

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Entertainment

Country Music’s Biggest Stars Flood Miami for Audacy’s Stars and Strings Concert

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HARDY poses for photos on the red carpet during Audacy's Stars & Strings Concert at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Florida. Photo: Matt Wolff / Florida National News.
HARDY poses for photos on the red carpet during Audacy's Stars & Strings Concert at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Florida. Photo: Matt Wolff / Florida National News.

HOLLYWOOD, Fla. (FNN) – Some of country music’s most decorated artists graced the stage last night for Audacy’s Stars and Strings. one Opry Member, 30+ Number 1 hits and a couple of rising stars.

HARDY, Brian Kelley, Ashley McBryde, Cole Swindell, Michael Ray and Hailey Whitters performed at the annual concert, hosted by Kiss Country 99.9 WKIS Miami Hard Rock Live at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, FL. The show supports I’m Listening, Audacy’s ongoing mental health initiative, and partnered with Wounded Warrior Project to support veterans’ mental health.

The first trio was Brian Kelley, formerly the Florida half of Florida Georgia Line, Hailey Whitters and Michael Ray, a last-minute replacement for Jordan Davis.

Next up was Cole Swindell, Ashley McBryde and HARDY, who appeared to be the crowd favorite. “Hardy! Hardy! Hardy!” was chanted before and after each song he sang.

The crowd sang along to all of the hits, including “You Ain’t Worth the Whiskey,” “God’s Country,” “One Night Standards,” “Everything She Ain’t,” “Whiskey and Rain” and “See You Next Summer.”

With all of the hits these artists have written/sang and only four songs to choose, it was impossible for them to play all of fan favorites, but they crowd was on their feet and singing from start to finish.

Throughout the night, each artist expressed their gratitude to the men and women who serve(d) this country and spoke about how important the Wounded Warrior Project was in the fight for veteran’s mental health.

Up and coming artists George Birge and Sammy Arriaga performed their songs at the pre-party while the headliners made their rounds on the red carpet and Meet-n-Greets.

 

Brian Kelley speaks with Florida National News on the red carpet.

 

Ashley McBride speaks with Florida National News on the red carpet.

 

Michael Ray speaks with Florida National News on the red carpet.

 

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Matt Wolff is a South Florida reporter for Florida National News. | info@floridanationalnews.com

 

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