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Highlights from the 2016 Essence Music Festival

The 2016 Essence Music Festival took place this past weekend from Friday, July 1 to Monday, July 4 in New Orleans, Louisiana. This 4-day festival brought a lot of talented and powerful people to the Superdome, so we’re recapping some of the highlights from the weekend.

4 Days of Success

The main highlight of the festival was that the four days were a massive success. The event garnered over 450,000 attendees with over 100 performing artists that featured big names like Mariah Carey, Kendrick Lamar, Ciara, and Puff Daddy & The Family. The festival also featured over 100 speakers including first time speaker Oprah Winfrey and a festival favorite, Bishop T.D. Jakes.

Misty Copeland on Grace and Style

Misty Copeland took to the Essence Festival stage to talk about grace and style. The ballerina who has danced with Prince shared her story of the pressures of always remaining thin in the industry. Copeland further went on to say that, “you can’t change how God made you.”

Copeland now has a line of dancewear that she has been working on for several years. Her line is a creation from her struggle of finding dance leotards that would suit her body type. She has created this line to suit the women who have “curves, muscles, and boobs.”

Mariah Carey with Jermaine Dupri & Da Brat

Mariah Carey performed at the Essence Festival on July 2 where she performed some of her favored classics like “Heartbreaker,” “Fantasy,” and “Always Be My Baby.” To bring a little surprise on stage, she invited Jermaine Dupri and Da Brat to help her perform the “Honey” remix.

Oprah Talks about “Living the Dream”

If there’s anyone you can take advice from about how to live out your dream, Oprah Winfrey would definitely be at the top of the list. Possibly the most well-known and successful self-made woman, she was able to take her talk show and make herself a household name in many countries.

At Essence Festival, Oprah gave a touching speech meant to motivate her listeners to on finding their purpose and living out their dreams. Her talk also focused on creating our plans, surrendering them to God, and putting our positive energies into the world.

A Quote We Love: “The energy of what you do, what you say and the energy of who you are goes out into the world, your home and into your relationships and that energy is always coming back to you. You’re responsible for the energy you put out into the world.” 

Puff Daddy & The Family

Puff Daddy, P. Diddy, or whatever the mogul is calling himself these days shut down the Superdome for the Essence Festival finale. On the stage, he brought out a slew of big names from his Bad Boy label like the classic acts of Faith Evans, Mase, and 112. He even brought out new member, French Montana. Their set list featured songs like “Bad Boy for Life,” “Can’t Nobody Hold Me Down,” and “Peaches and Cream.”

The group took a chance to salute the late Notorious B.I.G. with a medley of some of his biggest hits, “Hypnotize” and “Juicy” being two of them. The greatest part of the night followed this set where Puff Daddy & The Family came out with their families and a choir to sing “I’ll Be Missing You.”

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