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Diana Ross brings her star power to the Essence Festival

Associated Press logo Associated Press 6/29/2017 By CHEVEL JOHNSON, Associated Press
FILE - In this Sunday, Feb. 12, 2012, file photo, Diana Ross poses backstage at the 54th annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles. A little bit of Motown nostalgia will fill the Superdome when “The Boss” herself performs for the first time at the annual Essence Festival on Friday, June 30, 2017. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill, File) © The Associated Press FILE - In this Sunday, Feb. 12, 2012, file photo, Diana Ross poses backstage at the 54th annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles. A little bit of Motown nostalgia will fill the Superdome when “The Boss” herself performs for the first time at the annual Essence Festival on Friday, June 30, 2017. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill, File)

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Motown comes to the Essence Festival when "The Boss" herself performs for the first time at the event, held annually over the Fourth of July weekend in New Orleans.

Diana Ross headlines Friday's opening night of concerts inside the Superdome. She closes the night which also will see performances by John Legend, India.Arie, Afrika Mamas, Junior and Ross' eldest daughter, Rhonda Ross.

Essence Communications Inc. President Michelle Ebanks says organizers were thrilled when Ross committed to this year's festival. She says they've reached out to her for years and finally she agreed to come.

The nightly, ticketed concerts are only one part of the festival, which concludes Sunday. The festival also showcases daily free workshops focusing on entrepreneurship, relationships, activism, health and wellness at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center.

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