Photos: Essence Festival includes Diana Ross, Queen Latifah, cast of Queen Sugar

Special to the Times

The 2017 Essence Festival was celebrated in exciting way it always is: music, empowerment and celebrities.

This year’s lineup included Diana Ross, John Legend, Mary J Blige, Chance The Rapper, Chaka Khan, Solange, XSCAPE, Jill Scott, India.Arie, Monica, CeCe Winans, Jazmine Sullivan, BJ the Chicago Kidd, MC Lyte and many more.

The “party with a purpose” took place in New Orleans at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome and Ernest N. Morial Convention Center.

The Mainstage – where Diana Ross, Mary J. Blige and Chance the Rapper headlined – was hosted by Birmingham comedian Roy Wood Jr.

Diana Ross performs at Essence Festival.


Singer John Legend performs at the 2017 Essence Festival in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Stephonia Taylor McLinn for the Birmingham Times)
Birmingham comedian Roy Woods Jr. representing the Magic City at Essence Festival. (Stephonia Taylor McLinn for the Birmingham Times)


Iyanla Vanzant at Essence Festival.


Kofi Siriboe from OWN’s Queen Sugar


Queen Latifah at Essence Festival. Latifah will star in the upcoming comedy Girls Trip, which was filmed at Essence Festival in 2016


The cast of OWN Network’s Queen Sugar


Timon Kyle Durrett from OWN Network’s Queen Sugar.


Ethan Hutchinson from Queen Sugar


Queen Sugar’s Dondre Whitfield at Essence Festival (Stephonia Taylor McLinn for the Birmingham Times)


Rutina Wesley from Queen Sugar