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Essence Music Festival

ESSENCE

AND

EARTH, WIND & FIRE

CELEBRATE 40 YEARS OF MUSIC

THIS JULY 4TH WEEKEND

AS THE ROCK AND ROLL AND ROLL HALL OF FAMERS

JOIN THIS YEAR’S

ESSENCE MUSIC FESTIVAL

PRELIMINARY LINE-UP INCLUDES GLADYS KNIGHT, KERI HILSON, JILL SCOTT, RAPHAEL SAADIQ, CHARLIE WILSON AND OTHERS

The line-up for the 2010 ESSENCE MUSIC FESTIVAL–the annual weekend-long celebration of music, culture and community–will not only celebrate the 40th anniversary of ESSENCE, but will also salute the 40-year career of the legendary EARTH WIND & FIRE. The multi-platinum award-winning superstars join previously announced ESSENCE MUSIC FESTIVAL headliner and official spokesperson Mary J. Blige this July 4th weekend in New Orleans.

“We’re honored that Essence and Earth, Wind & Fire share the same anniversary,” said Philip Bailey, leader and co-founder of Earth, Wind & Fire. “Together, we have both been jammin’ for over 40 years! Get ready, ’cause we are going to celebrate this summer at the Essence Music Festival.”

The preliminary line-up for the nation’s largest annual gathering of African-American music and culture also includes Gladys Knight, Keri Hilson, Jill Scott, Raphael Saadiq, Charlie Wilson, De La Soul, Chrisette Michele, Joe, Laura Izibor and Melanie Fiona. The multi-generational line-up reinforces ESSENCE’s 40-year commitment to music. Additional details and the full line-up for the 2010 ESSENCE MUSIC FESTIVAL will be revealed in the coming weeks.

For additional information about ticket sales, accommodations and the latest news about the ESSENCE MUSIC FESTIVAL, visit www.essence.com/festival.

Last year, the ultimate destination for entertainment, empowerment, culture and community celebrated its 15th anniversary with a record-breaking 428,000 attendees. What began in 1995 as a one-time event to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of ESSENCE magazine has now grown into one of the country’s “Top 10 Leading Brand Events” by Advertising Age.

The ESSENCE MUSIC FESTIVAL is the nation’s largest annual gathering of African-American music and culture; in its 16-year history, it has featured an array of performers including Alicia Keys, Al Green, Aretha Franklin, Beyoncé, Chaka Khan, Destiny’s Child, Earth, Wind & Fire, Gladys Knight, LL Cool J, Jamie Foxx, John Legend, Kanye West, The Isley Brothers, Lionel Richie, Luther Vandross, Maxwell, The O’Jays, Prince, Stevie Wonder, Toni Braxton, Patti LaBelle and Yolanda Adams.

The presenting sponsor for the 2010 Essence Music Festival is Coca-Cola. Other 2010 sponsors include Coors, CoverGirl Queen, Ford, McDonald’s, Olay, Pantene, U.S. Army and My Black is Beautiful.

The 2010 ESSENCE MUSIC FESTIVAL is executive produced by Essence Festivals LLC and produced by Rehage Entertainment. Essence Festivals LLC is a division of Essence Communications Inc. (ECI).

ABOUT ESSENCE COMMUNICATIONS INC.:

Essence Communications Inc. (ECI) is the number one media and communications company dedicated to African-American women. With a multi-platform presence in publishing, live events, and online, the Essence brand is “Where Black Women Come First”. The company’s flagship publication, ESSENCE magazine, is the preeminent lifestyle magazine for African-American women; generating brand extensions such as the Essence Music Festival, ESSENCE Black Women in Hollywood, Window on Our Women (WOW I & II) and Smart Beauty I, II & III consumer insights, the Essence Book Club, Essence.com, and ventures in digital media (mobile, television and VOD). For 40 years, ESSENCE magazine, which has a brand reach of over 8 million, has been the leading source of cutting-edge information relating to every area of African-American women’s lives. Additional information about ECI and ESSENCE is available at www.essence.com.