Michelle Obama to headline Essence Festival
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Essence, one of the country’s leading magazines dedicated to black women, announced Thursday that Michelle ObamaMichelle LeVaughn Robinson ObamaMichelle Obama leads USA dodgeball against Corden's Team UK Michelle Obama to lead female celebrity dodgeball team in 'Late Late Show' face-off Obamas sign deal with Spotify to produce podcasts MORE will be headlining its summer festival in New Orleans for its 25th anniversary. 

“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 in a statement.

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“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,” she continued.

“Over 25 years, the Festival has done just that,” Ebanks added, “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.

The festival is scheduled to take place in New Orleans from July 4-7 and is expected to attract over 500,000 attendees.

The announcement arrives on the heels of Obama’s cover shoot with the magazine for its November issue last year. In the magazine, Obama could be seen sporting her natural curls, marking what appeared to have been the first time the former first lady ever wore her natural hair for the cover of a major publication.

Obama is one of several prominent figures who will be making an appearance at the annual summer festival. Other names include Mary J. Blige, Nas, Missy Elliott, H.E.R., Big Freedia, Davido, Frankie Beverly, Jermaine Dupri, MC Lyte, Pharrell Williams, Ronnie, Bobby, Ricky & Mike, Sheila E among more.