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The 2013 Essence Festival returns to New Orleans for four days in July. Among the performers this year are Brandy, Jill Scott, Keyshia Cole, Maxwell and more.

The 19th annual celebration of black music and culture will be held July 4-7 at the Superdome and the nearby convention center, where speakers like Rev. Al Sharpton and Rep. John Lewis, a congressman and civil rights leader, will give lectures, the New York Times reports.

Other performers include New Edition, LL Cool J, Big Daddy Kane and Charlie Wilson, while smaller stages will feature Anthony David, Bridget Kelly, Les Nubians Mint Condition and the new jack swing stalwarts, Blackstreet.

Last year’s event featured performances by Aretha Franklin, Chaka Khan and Mary J. Blige as well as D’Angelo, Dru Hill, Charlie Wilson and Melanie Fiona.

The festival initially began as a one-time event celebrating the 25th anniversary of Essence magazine.

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