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Diana Ross, Mary J. Blige, John Legend headline 2017 Essence

Associated Press logo Associated Press 12/15/2016 By CHEVEL JOHNSON, Associated Press

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — For the first time, music icon Diana Ross brings her star power to a stage at the 2017 Essence Festival in New Orleans.

Ross was among the headliners announced Thursday for the festival annually held in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. The 23rd annual event takes place June 30-July 2.

Joining Ross will be R&B's Mary J. Blige, John Legend, Chaka Khan, Erykah Badu, India.Arie, Jazmine Sullivan, Lalah Hathaway and Michel'le. Blige, a festival veteran, returns to headline a special night themed "My Path to Strength," at which she'll introduce her highly anticipated project, "Strength of a Woman."

Others on tap include Doug E Fresh, Master P, Moses Sumney, Ro James, Shaggy, Solange, Teyana Taylor, Trombone Shorty, Tweet, Yuna and Sir the Baptist.

Weekend ticket packages, starting at $126, go on sale Friday.

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