Photos

 

Best of the 2014 Essence Music Festival

Everyone from Prince to Mary J., and Lionel Richie to Trey Songz make history at the 20th annual New Orleans event

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    Mary J. Blige takes the stage at the 2014 Essence Music Festival at the Superdome in New Orleans.

    Photo: Katherine and Mariel Tyler for iHeartRadio

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    Mary J. Blige takes the stage at the 2014 Essence Music Festival at the Superdome in New Orleans.

    Photo: Katherine and Mariel Tyler for iHeartRadio

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    Mary J. Blige takes the stage at the 2014 Essence Music Festival at the Superdome in New Orleans.

    Photo: Katherine and Mariel Tyler for iHeartRadio

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    Mary J. Blige onstage at the 2014 Essence Music Festival at the Superdome in New Orleans.

    Photo: Katherine and Mariel Tyler for iHeartRadio

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    Prince takes the stage at the 2014 Essence Music Festival at the Superdome in New Orleans.

    Photo: Katherine and Mariel Tyler for iHeartRadio

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    Prince takes the stage at the 2014 Essence Music Festival at the Superdome in New Orleans.

    Photo: NPG Records for Essence

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    Prince takes the stage at the 2014 Essence Music Festival at the Superdome in New Orleans.

    Photo: NPG Records for Essence

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    Prince takes the stage at the 2014 Essence Music Festival at the Superdome in New Orleans.

    Photo: NPG Records for Essence

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    Prince takes the stage at the 2014 Essence Music Festival at the Superdome in New Orleans.

    Photo: NPG Records for Essence

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    Prince takes the stage at the 2014 Essence Music Festival at the Superdome in New Orleans.

    Photo: Katherine and Mariel Tyler for iHeartRadio

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    Jill Scott takes the stage at the 2014 Essence Music Festival at the Superdome in New Orleans.

    Photo: Katherine and Mariel Tyler for iHeartRadio

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    Jill Scott takes the stage at the 2014 Essence Music Festival at the Superdome in New Orleans.

    Photo: Katherine and Mariel Tyler for iHeartRadio

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    Jill Scott takes the stage at the 2014 Essence Music Festival at the Superdome in New Orleans.

    Photo: Katherine and Mariel Tyler for iHeartRadio

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    Trey Songz takes the stage at the 2014 Essence Music Festival at the Superdome in New Orleans.

    Photo: Katherine and Mariel Tyler for iHeartRadio

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    Trey Songz takes the stage at the 2014 Essence Music Festival at the Superdome in New Orleans.

    Photo: Katherine and Mariel Tyler for iHeartRadio

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    Trey Songz takes the stage at the 2014 Essence Music Festival at the Superdome in New Orleans.

    Photo: Katherine and Mariel Tyler for iHeartRadio

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    Trey Songz takes the stage at the 2014 Essence Music Festival at the Superdome in New Orleans.

    Photo: Katherine and Mariel Tyler for iHeartRadio

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    Trey Songz takes the stage at the 2014 Essence Music Festival at the Superdome in New Orleans.

    Photo: Katherine and Mariel Tyler for iHeartRadio

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    Trey Songz takes the stage at the 2014 Essence Music Festival at the Superdome in New Orleans.

    Photo: Katherine and Mariel Tyler for iHeartRadio

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    Trey Songz takes the stage at the 2014 Essence Music Festival at the Superdome in New Orleans.

    Photo: Katherine and Mariel Tyler for iHeartRadio

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    Janelle Monae takes the stage at the 2014 Essence Music Festival at the Superdome in New Orleans.

    Photo: Katherine and Mariel Tyler for iHeartRadio

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    Janelle Monae takes the stage at the 2014 Essence Music Festival at the Superdome in New Orleans.

    Photo: Katherine and Mariel Tyler for iHeartRadio

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    Janelle Monae takes the stage at the 2014 Essence Music Festival at the Superdome in New Orleans.

    Photo: Katherine and Mariel Tyler for iHeartRadio

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    Janelle Monae onstage at the 2014 Essence Music Festival at the Superdome in New Orleans.

    Photo: Katherine and Mariel Tyler for iHeartRadio

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    Janelle Monae onstage at the 2014 Essence Music Festival at the Superdome in New Orleans.

    Photo: Katherine and Mariel Tyler for iHeartRadio

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    Janelle Monae onstage at the 2014 Essence Music Festival at the Superdome in New Orleans.

    Photo: Katherine and Mariel Tyler for iHeartRadio

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    Janelle Monae onstage at the 2014 Essence Music Festival at the Superdome in New Orleans.

    Photo: Katherine and Mariel Tyler for iHeartRadio

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    Janelle Monae onstage at the 2014 Essence Music Festival at the Superdome in New Orleans.

    Photo: Katherine and Mariel Tyler for iHeartRadio

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    Janelle Monae onstage at the 2014 Essence Music Festival at the Superdome in New Orleans.

    Photo: Katherine and Mariel Tyler for iHeartRadio

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    Janelle Monae onstage at the 2014 Essence Music Festival at the Superdome in New Orleans.

    Photo: Katherine and Mariel Tyler for iHeartRadio

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    Common joins The Roots onstage at the 2014 Essence Music Festival at the Superdome in New Orleans.

    Photo: Katherine and Mariel Tyler for iHeartRadio

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    Common joins The Roots onstage at the 2014 Essence Music Festival at the Superdome in New Orleans.

    Photo: Katherine and Mariel Tyler for iHeartRadio

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    The Roots take the stage at the 2014 Essence Music Festival at the Superdome in New Orleans.

    Photo: Katherine and Mariel Tyler for iHeartRadio

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    The Roots take the stage at the 2014 Essence Music Festival at the Superdome in New Orleans.

    Photo: Katherine and Mariel Tyler for iHeartRadio

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    The Roots take the stage at the 2014 Essence Music Festival at the Superdome in New Orleans.

    Photo: Katherine and Mariel Tyler for iHeartRadio

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    The Roots takes the stage at the 2014 Essence Music Festival at the Superdome in New Orleans.

    Photo: Katherine and Mariel Tyler for iHeartRadio

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    The Roots take the stage at the 2014 Essence Music Festival at the Superdome in New Orleans.

    Photo: Katherine and Mariel Tyler for iHeartRadio

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    The Roots take the stage at the 2014 Essence Music Festival at the Superdome in New Orleans.

    Photo: Katherine and Mariel Tyler for iHeartRadio

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    K. Michelle takes the stage at the 2014 Essence Music Festival at the Superdome in New Orleans.

    Photo Getty Images

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    Lionel Richie takes the stage at the 2014 Essence Music Festival at the Superdome in New Orleans.

    Photo Getty Images

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    Erykah Badu takes the stage at the 2014 Essence Music Festival at the Superdome in New Orleans.

    Photo Getty Images

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    Erykah Badu poses for the press backstage at the 2014 Essence Music Festival at the Superdome in New Orleans.

    Photo Getty Images

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    Jazmine Sullivan takes the stage at the 2014 Essence Music Festival at the Superdome in New Orleans.

    Photo: Katherine and Mariel Tyler for iHeartRadio

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    Jazmine Sullivan takes the stage at the 2014 Essence Music Festival at the Superdome in New Orleans.

    Photo: Katherine and Mariel Tyler for iHeartRadio

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    Jazmine Sullivan takes the stage at the 2014 Essence Music Festival at the Superdome in New Orleans.

    Photo: Katherine and Mariel Tyler for iHeartRadio

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    Jazmine Sullivan takes the stage at the 2014 Essence Music Festival at the Superdome in New Orleans.

    Photo: Katherine and Mariel Tyler for iHeartRadio

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    Niles Rodgers onstage at the 2014 Essence Music Festival at the Superdome in New Orleans.

    Photo: Katherine and Mariel Tyler for iHeartRadio

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    Niles Rodgers snaps a pic from the stage at the 2014 Essence Music Festival at the Superdome in New Orleans.

    Photo: Katherine and Mariel Tyler for iHeartRadio

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    Niles Rodgers onstage at the 2014 Essence Music Festival at the Superdome in New Orleans.

    Photo: Katherine and Mariel Tyler for iHeartRadio

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    Niles Rodgers onstage at the 2014 Essence Music Festival at the Superdome in New Orleans.

    Photo: Katherine and Mariel Tyler for iHeartRadio

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    Niles Rodgers onstage at the 2014 Essence Music Festival at the Superdome in New Orleans.

    Photo: Katherine and Mariel Tyler for iHeartRadio

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    Niles Rodgers backup singer onstage at the 2014 Essence Music Festival at the Superdome in New Orleans.

    Photo: Katherine and Mariel Tyler for iHeartRadio

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    Niles Rodgers onstage at the 2014 Essence Music Festival at the Superdome in New Orleans.

    Photo: Katherine and Mariel Tyler for iHeartRadio

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    Niles Rodgers onstage at the 2014 Essence Music Festival at the Superdome in New Orleans.

    Photo: Katherine and Mariel Tyler for iHeartRadio

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    Niles Rodgers onstage at the 2014 Essence Music Festival at the Superdome in New Orleans.

    Photo: Katherine and Mariel Tyler for iHeartRadio

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    Looks like someone got Prince's "please wear purple" memo!

    Photo: Katherine and Mariel Tyler for iHeartRadio

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    Tank onstage at the 2014 Essence Music Festival at the Superdome in New Orleans.

    Photo: Katherine and Mariel Tyler for iHeartRadio

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    Tank onstage at the 2014 Essence Music Festival at the Superdome in New Orleans.

    Photo: Katherine and Mariel Tyler for iHeartRadio

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    Tank onstage at the 2014 Essence Music Festival at the Superdome in New Orleans.

    Photo: Katherine and Mariel Tyler for iHeartRadio

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    Nephew Tommy hosts the 2014 Essence Music Festival at the Superdome in New Orleans.

    Photo: Katherine and Mariel Tyler for iHeartRadio

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    Ledesi takes the stage at the 2014 Essence Music Festival at the Superdome in New Orleans.

    Photo: Katherine and Mariel Tyler for iHeartRadio

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    Ledesi takes the stage at the 2014 Essence Music Festival at the Superdome in New Orleans.

    Photo: Katherine and Mariel Tyler for iHeartRadio

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    Ledesi takes the stage at the 2014 Essence Music Festival at the Superdome in New Orleans.

    Photo: Katherine and Mariel Tyler for iHeartRadio

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    Ledesi takes the stage at the 2014 Essence Music Festival at the Superdome in New Orleans.

    Photo: Katherine and Mariel Tyler for iHeartRadio

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    Ledesi takes the stage at the 2014 Essence Music Festival at the Superdome in New Orleans.

    Photo: Katherine and Mariel Tyler for iHeartRadio

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    Ledesi takes the stage at the 2014 Essence Music Festival at the Superdome in New Orleans.

    Photo: Katherine and Mariel Tyler for iHeartRadio

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    Michelle Williams backstage at the 2014 Essence Music Festival at the Superdome in New Orleans.

    Photo: Katherine and Mariel Tyler for iHeartRadio

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    Erykah Badu takes the stage at the 2014 Essence Music Festival at the Superdome in New Orleans.

    Photo: Katherine and Mariel Tyler for iHeartRadio

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    Erykah Badu takes the stage at the 2014 Essence Music Festival at the Superdome in New Orleans.

    Photo: Katherine and Mariel Tyler for iHeartRadio

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    Erykah Badu takes the stage at the 2014 Essence Music Festival at the Superdome in New Orleans.

    Photo: Katherine and Mariel Tyler for iHeartRadio

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    Charlie Wilson takes the stage at the 2014 Essence Music Festival at the Superdome in New Orleans.

    Photo: Katherine and Mariel Tyler for iHeartRadio

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    Charlie Wilson takes the stage at the 2014 Essence Music Festival at the Superdome in New Orleans.

    Photo: Katherine and Mariel Tyler for iHeartRadio

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    Charlie Wilson takes the stage at the 2014 Essence Music Festival at the Superdome in New Orleans.

    Photo: Katherine and Mariel Tyler for iHeartRadio

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    Elle Varner takes the stage at the 2014 Essence Music Festival at the Superlounge in New Orleans.

    Photo: Katherine and Mariel Tyler for iHeartRadio

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    Elle Varner takes the stage at the 2014 Essence Music Festival at the Superlounge in New Orleans.

    Photo: Katherine and Mariel Tyler for iHeartRadio

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    Tamar Braxton takes the stage at the 2014 Essence Music Festival at the Superdome in New Orleans.

    Photo: Katherine and Mariel Tyler for iHeartRadio

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    Tamar Braxton takes the stage at the 2014 Essence Music Festival at the Superdome in New Orleans.

    Photo: Katherine and Mariel Tyler for iHeartRadio

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    Jesse Boykins III takes the stage at the 2014 Essence Music Festival at the Superdome in New Orleans.

    Photo: Katherine and Mariel Tyler for iHeartRadio

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    Jesse Boykins III takes the stage at the 2014 Essence Music Festival at the Superdome in New Orleans.

    Photo: Katherine and Mariel Tyler for iHeartRadio

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    Janelle Monae backstage at the 2014 Essence Music Festival at the Superdome in New Orleans.

    Photo: Katherine and Mariel Tyler for iHeartRadio

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    Luke James backstage at the 2014 Essence Music Festival at the Superdome in New Orleans.

    Photo: Katherine and Mariel Tyler for iHeartRadio

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    Michelle Williams backstage at the 2014 Essence Music Festival at the Superdome in New Orleans.

    Photo: Katherine and Mariel Tyler for iHeartRadio