ESSENCE Festival Announces Michelle Obama as 2019 Headliner on the Heels of Best-Selling Memoir
The 25th Anniversary ESSENCE Festival of Culture kicks off July 4 in New Orleans
It’s festival season, and everyone’s favorite former first lady is officially participating!
ESSENCE announced Thursday that Michelle Obama will headline their 25th Anniversary Festival of Culture in New Orleans July 4-7. The 55-year-old is set to discuss her record-setting memoir, finding a new focus and her plans for the future during a sit-down interview on July 6, ESSENCE (a media company dedicated to black women) said in a statement.
ESSENCE Festival is a celebration of global black culture that attracts more than 500,000 people each weekend. The View’s Loni Love will host this year’s event, making her the first female ever to do so.
“We are indescribably thrilled and honored to have ‘Forever First Lady’ Michelle Obama as a part of our 25th Anniversary ESSENCE Festival, which will mark our most exciting and extensive programming to date,” Michelle Ebanks, CEO of Essence Communications, said.
Becoming, which was released in November 2018, is a candid account of Mrs. Obama’s childhood in Chicago, her marriage to former president Barack Obama, becoming a mother to daughters Sasha and Malia and life in the White House. As of March 26, the memoir had sold a staggering 10 million copies worldwide.
“We believe this could be the most successful memoir in history,” Thomas Rabe, head of one of Penguin Random House’s parent companies, said in March according to the Wall Street Journal.
The memoir also set records by selling two million copies in its first 15 days in stores and topping the best-seller list in countries like Germany, and Greece, according to the Washington Post. After its release, Mrs. Obama embarked on a sold-out tour to promote Becoming at venues across the country.
“As inspiring and aspirational as it is relatable, Mrs. Obama’s story — told on her own terms — is a remarkable example and celebration of everyday Black women who accomplish extraordinary things, who confront challenges with courage and truth, and who remind us that all things are possible when we support one another,” Ebanks said. “Over 25 years, the Festival has done just that — becoming a cultural home for millions of Black women to honor, celebrate and engage each other in service and sisterhood, laughter and love, and empowerment and community.”
Mrs. Obama will join an exciting line-up of more than 80 performers — including hip-hop legends Mary J. Blige, Nas and Missy Elliott, and rising talents H.E.R and Teyana Taylor — for this year’s festival, which is “a celebration of 1994’s most culturally impactful and transformative albums that redefined pop culture will also be curated and performed by the original artists,” according to ESSENCE.
Festival-goers can expect to hear chart-topping favorites from albums like Mary J. Blige’s My Life, Nas’ Illmatic, Brandy’s Brandy and many more.
Tickets for the 25th Anniversary ESSENCE Festival of Cultural are on sale now at essence.com/festival.