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UPDATE: Essence Music Festival Line Up

NEW YORK (CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — The line-up for the 2010 Essence Music Festival–the annual weekend-long celebration of music, culture and community–will not only celebrate the 40th anniversary of Essence, but will also salute the 40-year career of the legendary Earth Wind & Fire. The multi-platinum award-winning superstars join previously announced Essence Music Festival headliner and official spokesperson Mary J. Blige this July 4th weekend in New Orleans.

“We're honored that Essence and Earth, Wind & Fire share the same anniversary,” said Philip Bailey, leader and co-founder of Earth, Wind & Fire. “Together, we have both been jammin' for over 40 years! Get ready, ’cause we are going to celebrate this summer at the Essence Music Festival.”

The preliminary line-up for the nation's largest annual gathering of African-American music and culture also includes Gladys Knight, Keri Hilson, Jill Scott, Raphael Saadiq, Charlie Wilson, De La Soul, Chrisette Michele, Joe, Laura Izibor and Melanie Fiona. The multi-generational line-up reinforces Essence’s 40-year commitment to music. Additional details and the full line-up for the 2010 Essence Music Festival will be revealed in the coming weeks.

Last year, the ultimate destination for entertainment, empowerment, culture and community celebrated its 15th anniversary with a record-breaking 428,000 attendees. What began in 1995 as a one-time event to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of Essence magazine has now grown into one of the country's "Top 10 Leading Brand Events" by Advertising Age. –by CelebrityAccess Staff Writers