Essence Festival 2015 closed out with a bang! Mary J. Blige, Kendrick Lamar and Floetry rocked the main stage at the Superdome last night. And it was quite a treat! Join the party inside….
This year’s ESSENCE Festival was loaded with more than 80 performing acts and over 120 guest speakers to celebrate over the 4th of July weekend. As festivalgoers enjoyed the massive line-up of events, ESSENCE Fest also held its inaugural “Day of Service” to commemorate the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina by refurbishing schools citywide and staging a first-time community Health & Wellness Fair. It’s always a plus when you can party with a purpose.
Last night, festivalgoers were treated with blockbuster performances from Mary J. Blige, Kendrick Lamar, Floetry and Trombone Shorty (with band Orleans Avenue) to close out the 4-day festival at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans.
Our girl MJB stormed the stage to rock the house with a medley of her classic R&B bangers, including “Real Love,” “My Life,” “Not Gone Cry,” and “No More Drama,” to name a few. And everyone in the audience nearly lost their minds when THIS happened:
The London Sessions singer brought out the fineness that is Method Man to perform their timeless cut, “All I Need.” They definitely came through with the throwback track.
Fresh from a performance at the Wireless Festival in London, west coast rapper Kendrick Lamar had the Superdome in a frenzy when he hit the stage to drop his lyrical greatness. He performed a few tracks, including “Alright,” and “Swimming Pools,” as the crowd rapped along to his music.
Recently reunited group Floetry, floacist Natalie Stewart and songbird Marsha Ambrosius, hit the main stage for an electric performance. And it’s clear they have not missed a beat.
Although it was pouring down raining in the Big Easy, that didn’t stop the “soul sistas” to treating their fans to an amazing performance. And the ladies made sure to perform their 2002 hit single “Say Yes.”
Floety is currently on tour, making their next stop in Birmingham, AL on Wednesday. They will continue their summer 2015 tour up until August 8th, closing out in Columbia, Maryland. Find out if they’ll be visiting a city near you here.
Elsewhere in the Big Easy...
Nelly had his girlfriend Miss Jackson on his arm as he hosted a party at House of Blues alongside Grammy awarding winning producer Bryan Michael Cox. The spirits were flowing heavily as Seagram’s Gin was the official spirit sponsor of the evening. And it looks like Miss Jackson partied hard.
Former reality star Nicole Murphy and “Empire” hunk Omari Hardwick hugged it out at the House of Blues for the 4th annual Black Hollywood Explosion. Nicole's body is SICK. Fun times!
Click through another massive round up of YBF folks at ESSENCE festival, including Lance Gross, Estelle, Kid 'N Play and MANY more in the gallery below.
Kevin Hart's been "twinning" with soccer super star David Beckham and we've got pics of them on the set of a new H&M commercial. See the photos inside and watch principal dancer Misty Copeland talking about her historical promotion on "The View."
Funnyman Kevin Hart, who is arguably the hardest working man in Hollywood has ANOTHER job...
It looks like Kevin is collecting a check from "H&M" this month as we spotted him filming a commercial for the brand alongside soccer legend David Beckham. On Instagram, Kevin posted "2 questions...Question #1Why are we sitting this comfortably In Front of this grizzly bear? Question #2 Why are we dressed alike? Gotta love @davidbeckham #Twins #GoodTimesWithGreatPeople"
While we don't have the "specifics" regarding the commercials storyline, it appears that "twinning" is a part of the concept. Kevin added, "Hanging out with @davidbeckham ... He has to stop copying my style #Twins"
By the way, today is also Kevin's 36th birthday.
Following his H&M shoot, he boarded a plane bound for Boston to begin work on another project. He told his Instagram followers,
"Celebrating my B Day by doing what I love....WORKING...I'm headed back to Boston....Can't wait to get on set in the am. I'm blessed to see another year of life while having the people that I love the most around me!!!! I'm officially the big 36 people!!! #HappyBDayToMe"
"I don't think it's really hit me...It's something that I think the African American community has been waiting a lifetime for. It means so much to e to be able to represent so many who've come before me. I've stood on the shoulders of some many black women who's made this path for me and I can't believe its me! It's so easy to forget all of the hard work that goes into what we do when something like this happens. But I've got to remind myself....I worked my butt off for 15 years!"
Misty also chatted it up about her NEXT big move. She's set to make her Broadway debut in “On the Town.” She'll join the cast of the musical revival for two weeks, starting August 25 and ending September 6.
Misty will star as beauty pageant winner Ivy Smith, one of the women who steals the hearts of three sailors on 24-hour shore leave in New York City. And guess what....she revealed to the ladies that she'll be singing too!
Singing...acting...dancing...congrats to triple threat Misty Copeland!
Photos via The View Instagram/Misty's Instagram/Kevin Hart's Instagram/David Beckham Instagram
Kimora Lee Simmons shared the first face shot of her newest baby boy Wolfe Lee Leissner. Also, peep the family fun Usher, his fiancée Grace Miguel and sons Usher V & Naviyd are having in New Orleans inside….
Momma bear Kimora Lee Simmons shared the first pic of her almost 3-month-old son Wolfe Lee Leissner’s adorable face. And we’ve totally fallen in love. He’s so CUTE!
The fab mother-of-four and her kiddies, Ming Lee, Aoki Lee, Kenzo Lee and Wolfe Lee, jetted to Athens, Greece this 4th of July weekend for some family fun...via private jet. Of course.
Cutie Kenzo was all smiles as he explored some of the most famous landmarks in the world…ancient Greek ruins. Life as a YBF celeb kid is nothing short of amazing.
Brother-sister love! Back on the yacht, his big sister Aoki Lee showered him with affection.
Kimora's eldest Ming Lee kept it cute as they sailed the Mediterranean Sea in Athens on a luxury yacht. We see she’s been taking notes from her model mother.
Later, she slipped on her swim gear to explore the sea on an inflatable. She looked READY for some fun.
Another family livin' it up....
After rocking the Essence Festival over the weekend, Usher took his sons Usher V and Naviyd, along with his fiancée Grace Miguel, to tourist attraction Mardi Gras World in New Orleans. The fellas kicked off the fun-filled day with snow cones before hopping on a boat to coast down the Bayou for a interesting tour.
The kiddies got the chance to hold baby alligators but, as you can see, Naviyd was NOT about that life. Look at that side-eye. Ha!
After the Bayou tour, the “Good Kisser” singer bust out the Whip/Nae Nae dance (rocking his low-top Yeezy Boost 350 sneakers) with help from an alligator prop. Get it Ursh!
As they toured the warehouse where Mardi Gras floats are made, King Usher and his two Princes stopped to snap a few fun flicks.
Usher’s fiancée Grace looks like she has the design of her engagement ring on the brain. She was spotted admiring a huge giant-sized diamond ring with Usher captioning, “Ambition.”
Then, the “I Don’t Mind” singer got silly with a few props: