- Associated Press - Tuesday, January 8, 2013

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - The Essence Music Festival is dropping the music _ from its name, that is.

The festival held in New Orleans every July 4th weekend for the past 18 years has rebranded itself The Essence Festival. Organizers say the change is designed to showcase the event as more than a music festival.

Still, music will remain a focus for the 19th annual festival, which is July 4-7.

The lineup includes more than 30 acts _ a number of them Essence veterans. On the roster are Jill Scott, Maxwell, New Edition, Charlie Wilson, Keyshia Cole, LL Cool J and Brandy.

As in past years, concerts will be held at the Superdome while empowerment seminars on health, beauty, careers, education and relationships are held at a nearby convention center.

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