Diana Ross to Headline 2017 Essence Music Festival for the First Time 

Posted: 8:19 am Friday, December 16th, 2016

By Eric "Hollywood" Davis STAR 94.5


She’s…coming out!

Diana Ross will bless the 2017 Essence Music Festival with a performance for the first time in its 23-year history.

“This is big,” said Essence Communications Michelle Ebanks  on getting The Boss to sign on. “We’ve wanted her to join us forever and we’re so happy she finally said ‘yes!’ She’s just off receiving the presidential medal of honor and she’s just, like President Obama said, a part of the American soundtrack. She represents grace and glamour and we couldn’t be more excited.”

Ebanks said the Essence brand is about the “triumph of the everyday woman.”

“Diana Ross is that. She grew up in the housing projects in Detroit and now basks in international stardom. As a community we can just enjoy so many chapters in our lives by listening to her soundtrack,” she said.

Mary J. Blige, John Legend, Chaka Khan, Erykah, Badu, India.Arie, Jazmine Sullivan, Lalah Hathaway and first-timer Michel’le were also among the headliners announced Thursday for the 23rd annual event, to be held at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans.