Michelle Obama set to make Essence Festival debut

Former first lady Michelle Obama will be among the 2019 headliners at the Essence Festival, which is set to go down July 4-7 in New Orleans.

Obama’s July 6 appearance will mark her first time attending the event, now in its 25 year, and includes a sit-down interview in the Superdome — where ticketed concerts will also be held during the 3-day event. Free empowerment and cultural activities will be available at the city’s convention center, The Huff Post reports.

This year’s musical line-up includes Mary J. Blige, Nas, Missy Elliott, H.E.R., MC Lyte, Teyana Taylor, and Frankie Beverly, who will be honored for his lifetime contribution to music.

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“As inspiring and aspirational as it is relatable, Mrs. Obama’s story – told on her own terms – is a remarkable example and celebration of everyday Black women who accomplish extraordinary things, who confront challenges with courage and truth, and who remind us that all things are possible when we support one another,” said Essence Communications CEO Michelle Ebanks in a statement.

The Essence Festival serves as an “annual homecoming for Black artists from across the globe,” Ebanks said in a February statement. “When the Essence Festival was founded 25 years ago, it marked a pivotal moment of vision and reverence – a critical acknowledgement of and investment in the power of our culture.”

The Essence Festival kicks off July 4 – July 7, and will be hosted by “The Real” co-host and comedian Loni Love.