- Associated Press - Wednesday, March 4, 2015

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - Grammy Award winning artists Usher and Missy Elliott have been added to the 2015 Essence Festival lineup.

They join Kendrick Lamar, Mary J. Blige, Erykah Badu, comedian Kevin Hart, Common and Trombone Shorty, among others, on its main stage at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans over the annual Fourth of July weekend.

Other acts booked for the 2015 Essence include homegrown rapper Mystikal, plus Kool Moe Dee, Doug E. Fresh, Slick Rick, Floetry, jazz bassist Esperanza Spalding, Kelly Price, Bilal, and such local acts as Ivan Neville’s Dumpstaphunk and Tank & the Bangas.

Usher last performed on the Essence main stage in 2011.

Missy Elliott makes her first Essence Festival appearance since her Super Bowl performance last month.

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