- Associated Press - Saturday, May 3, 2014

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - Nas marks the 20th anniversary of his now-iconic debut album, “Illmatic,” as a headliner at the 2014 Essence Fest, which also is celebrating 20 years July 3-6.

Nas is headliner on the festival’s Now Playing stage, a new addition to the event, which started in 1995 as a one-time celebration marking 25 years of Essence Magazine.

Also scheduled to perform July 3 in the Louisiana Superdome are Trey Songz, K. Michelle and Jazmine Sullivan.

Singer-songwriter Prince, who performed at Essence in 2004 at the festival’s 10th anniversary, returns as headliner on July 4.

Others scheduled to perform are Mary J. Blige, Jill Scott and The Roots, Lionel Richie, Charlie Wilson, Erykah Badu, Stephanie Mills, 112, Marsha Ambrosius, Robert Glasper, Sevyn Streeter, Elle Varner and New Orleans‘ own August Alsina.

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