NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - The 22nd annual ESSENCE Festival is here.
Many people have touched down in the "504" for the jam packed weekend. Celebrities like Faith Evans have shared a few clips on social media anticipating their main stage performances. Evans last hit the ESSENCE stage in 2013. Tonight she'll step onto the main stage for 6:45 p.m.
Babyface, New Edition, Maxwell and Tyrese are also set to perform on the main stage. Digable Planets, Daley, Tweet, Kelly Price and more will perform in the superlounges.
Charlie Wilson is an ESSENCE Fest favorite. Saturday night will be a "funktacular" time, said Wilson. The 11 time Grammy nominated artist will hit the main stage at 9:10 pm. Singing powerhouse Mariah Carey will close out the second night. This is Carey's first-ever ESSENCE performance.
A special tribute to Prince will kick off Sunday's concert. Marsha Ambrosius, Kelly Price, Doug E Fresh and Prince's band - The New Power Generation - will honor the late icon before Puff Daddy and the Family hit the stage.
ESSENCE Fest is also known for their free empowerment seminars at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center downtown. The festival added Oprah Winfrey to the list of speakers. This will be Oprah's first-ever appearance in ESSENCE Fest history. Other speakers include Misty Copeland, Tyra Banks, and Reverend Al Sharpton.