Saturday, July 4, 2009

Essence Festival Kicks Off With Tribute to King of Pop

Brass band musicians on trumpet, trombone and tuba belted out "A Closer Walk With Thee" as the Essence Music Festival gave a salute to Michael Jackson befitting a New Orleans jazz funeral procession. The festival runs through Sunday.

At a concert featuring performances by Beyonce, John Legend, Ne-Yo (who has performed at every concert so far this summer) and Salt-n-Pepa in the Louisiana Superdome, the festival paid homage to Jackson with a picture and video montage and the New Orleans-styled tribute. There is also a rumor that Lionel Richie and the Commodores will reunite on Sunday.

Friday marked the festival's highest attendance in its 15-year history, said Michelle Ebanks, president of Essence Communications Inc. She wouldn't provide figures (so you know she lyin'), but reported a first-night sellout at the Superdome, which can seat about 85,000 people for football games and 350,000 for hurricanes.

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