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The first day of the Roots 2024 picnic included food, fun and a phenomenal performance by legendary artists

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Photo credit: Marcus McDonald

This past weekend, The Legendary Roots Crew hosted and co-founded the largest edition of Roots Picnic to this point at The Mann in Fairmount Park in Philadelphia. The event, which gathered over 60,000 participants throughout the weekend, exceeded all expectations and is one of the most anticipated festivals in the city of brotherly love.

Before the music began, the sold-out festivities began on Friday, May 31, with the return of the second annual Roots Picnic Con at the Fillmore Philadelphia. The conference included panel discussions from The Recording Academy, Cannabis Workers Union, Live Nation, Phor Essentials and featured panelists resembling Questlove, Marsha Ambrosius and many others. That evening, Black Thought returned together with his stand-up special “Black Thought Presents Delirious” at Punchline Philly, which featured surprise appearances from comedians from across the country.

Additional events leading as much as the concert series included Houses of Luv & Philly Black Pride’s inaugural Roots Picnic LGBTQ+ Pride Party at the Foundry on Thursday, May 30, and the Roots Picnic Kickoff Party at the Brooklyn Bowl the following evening.

The first day of the Roots 2024 picnic included food, fun and performances by legendary artists
PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA – JUNE 01: Nas, Ghostface Killah and Beanie Sigel perform at the Roots 2024 Picnic at The Mann on June 1, 2024 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Taylor Hill/Getty Images for Live Nation Urban)

On June 1, Pennsylvania Governor Josh Shapiro presented The Roots with a proclamation recognizing their contributions to the arts, arts education and the economy of the City of Philadelphia. The picnic began around 1 p.m. and featured plenty of amazing performances throughout the three stages. The Centennial Stage hosted live acts and podcasts throughout the day, while the Presser Stage featured performances by October London, Smino and Sexxy Red.

Saturday featured an unprecedented mix of hip-hop and R&B on the Fairmount Stage, where audiences saw J.Period, Black Thought, Method Man and Redman welcome FERG, Amir Ali, ReeCee, E.Ness, Freeway and Common to stage as special guests during the joint J. Period Live Mixtape set. The-Dream then performed some of his hits resembling “Fancy”, “I Luv Your Girl” and “Falsetto”. Later in the evening, Nas lit up the stage with songs from his 1994 debut album Illmatic and welcomed Ghostface Killah to the stage for his electrifying performance.

The first day of the Roots 2024 picnic included food, fun and performances by legendary artists
Photo credit: Marcus McDonald

To close out the night, the influential Jill Scott, coming off the heels of a massive twentieth anniversary tour celebrating the release of her groundbreaking debut album, sang some of her biggest hits and made a surprise debut of her latest song “Norf Philly” featuring Tierra Whack.

In addition to the phenomenal music selection, Roots Picnic also showcased some of the area’s best cuisine. Doordash Food Village featured places like Bake ‘N Bacon, Down North Pizza, Oh Brother Philly, Federal Donuts & Chicken and many more.

The first day of the Roots 2024 picnic included food, fun and performances by legendary artists
Courtesy of Grand Marnier

In between sets, attendees could also experience elegant activations from brands resembling Stella Artois, Smirnoff Ice, Dunkin’ Donuts and Jack Daniels, amongst others. The Chase Sapphire Lounge was extremely popular, and Grand Marnier celebrated the start of summer with an immersive festival experience where guests enjoyed live performances, cooling stations, photo ops and the company’s signature cocktail, the Grand Margarita.

After the huge success of the first day of Roots Picnic, fans were looking forward to Sunday’s event, which featured inspiring performances from local legends and era-defining artists.

This article was originally published on : www.essence.com
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Celebrity Coverage

Stargazing: Stars end the year on the court and meet up

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This time of year is normally reserved for cozying up by the fire and keeping the room warm from the winter chill, but there have been still loads of stars on the streets this week to shut out 2022 with a bang.

Amazon Music Live held its last show of 2022 in Los Angeles on December 29 with headliner 21 Savage, and Christmas and New Year’s Eve parties continued in New York with Offset and Hot 97 DJ Funk Master Flex.

Other stars hung out on the court cheering on their favorite teams during a few of the last basketball games of the year, and artists akin to French Montana and Nick Cannon were spotted helping those in need during the holidays.

Scroll below to see what your favorite stars have been up to this week.

This article was originally published on : www.essence.com
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Here’s who will perform on Sunday evening at the ESSENCE 2024 Cultural Festival

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As the 2024 ESSENCE Cultural Festival approaches, excitement is running high for the thirtieth anniversary of the beloved celebration in vibrant New Orleans, happening July 4-7. The evening concluding the series of evening live shows at Caesar’s Superdome guarantees to be a spectacular finale featuring star artists, phenomenal artists, whose essential characters are Janet Jackson and Victoria Monét.

Hosted by the dynamic trio of Keke Palmer, Big Tigger and DJ Beverly Bond, Sunday evening offers an eclectic mixture of musical genres and unforgettable moments. Attendees may expect the harmonious sounds of SWV, a genre-bending set from Tank and The Bangas featuring Teedra Moses, Hasizzle and Dawn Richard, in addition to a heartfelt tribute to the legendary Frankie Beverly. Additionally, special guests will honor musical legends in a segment produced by Bryan-Michael Cox.

Get ready for an evening filled with star-studded performances, heartfelt tributes and unforgettable moments at Essence Festival 2024 on Sunday, July 7. See you!


This article was originally published on : www.essence.com
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EXCLUSIVE: Lee Daniels on Harnessing Power Majeure and Collaborating with Mo’Nique Again for ‘The Deliverance’

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Deliverance. Athony B. Jenkins as Andre in “Deliverance”. Cr. © 2024 Aaron Ricketts/Netflix.

Lee Daniels returns to the director’s chair and tells a story unlike anything he’s ever done before.

His latest film is a supernatural thriller with an all-star solid that diverts attention from the standard, memorable story. It’s a story told with a mix of religion, horror and trauma – a departure from the director best known for creating drama.

finds Ebony Jackson (Andra Day) battling demons, each figuratively and literally, as she grapples with the echoes of pain from her own childhood while attempting to coexist with her mother (Glenn Close) and raise three children of her own (Caleb McLaughlin, Demi Singleton and Anthony B. Jenkins).

EXCLUSIVE: Lee Daniels on Harnessing Power Majeure and Collaborating with Mo'Nique Again for 'The Deliverance'
Deliverance. (From left to right) Anthony B. Jenkins as Andre, Demi Singleton as Shante and Andra Day as Ebony in Deliverance. Cr. © 2024 Aaron Ricketts/Netflix

Loosely based on the real-life 2012 case of LaToya Ammons and her family, the story is something Daniels looked into shortly after his 2009 success. Although he was desperate to challenge himself and create a “throwback to old-school horror” within the sort of or , the director was hesitant to take it on on the time.

“I didn’t want to make this movie 15 years ago,” Daniels tells ESSENCE exclusively. “I was just upset about it all.”

“Then, over time, I realized that I wasn’t really telling a horror story,” he says. Instead, Daniels realized he could use this true story of darkness to guide viewers to the sunshine. “I think we live in dark times and we need to find our higher power, at least Buddha, Jesus, Allah, someone.”

“Everything I did, whether as a producer or director, I felt was on point. I don’t look at it as a horror film, but rather as a film about trying to find your higher self-worth. power and how I am trying to find my higher power. Can I grow closer to Jesus through this process?”

EXCLUSIVE: Lee Daniels on Harnessing Power Majeure and Collaborating with Mo'Nique Again for 'The Deliverance'
Deliverance. (Left to Right) Caleb McGlaughlin as Nate, Anthony B. Jenkins as Andre and Mo’Nique as Cynthia Henry in Deliverance. Cr. © 2024 Aaron Ricketts/Netflix

In creating this path to greater closeness with the Lord, Daniels also found himself reconciled and working again with an old friend.

Mo’Nique won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her last project with Daniels. Famously, there was a long-running dispute between them that was reflected within the press for over a decade. However, after their miraculous reconciliation in 2022, the duo immediately returned to the set to create much more movie magic.

“Unreal, unbelievable, magical feeling, joy, everything. It was perfect,” Daniels said about reconnecting with the actress and comedian. “Listen, we made the decision right away. It was as if our 15 years of fighting had never happened. We just got back to the rhythm of her jumping into character and it’s a tour de force. The two of us together are crazy. We create magic.”

EXCLUSIVE: Lee Daniels on Harnessing Power Majeure and Collaborating with Mo'Nique Again for 'The Deliverance'
Deliverance. (Left to right) Mo’Nique as Cynthia Henry, Glenn Close as Albert and Andra Day as Ebony in Deliverance. Cr. © 2024 Aaron Ricketts/Netflix

Daniels’ full solid was magical, including three other Oscar-nominated actresses, including eight-time nominee Glenn Close and 2022 Best Supporting Actress nominee Aunjanue Ellis. In the highlight is Andra Day, who earned a nomination during her last project with Daniels. Day gives a transformative performance as Ebony Jackson, a mother of three struggling to beat alcoholism and trauma-induced poverty, yet still on the brink of a very powerful battle of her life.

“I love working with women, especially black women. Love it. We’re becoming one,” Daniels said of Day’s recasting in the lead role. “That’s why I just want to work with her over and over again. She is like a muse to me and she just trusts me.”

“As a director, you possibly can’t expect people to perform if there isn’t any trust. Andra and Monique, Aunjanue and Glenn…It’s rare. My dream is for the director to seek out an artist who will do anything, doesn’t query it, just does it, just blindly jumps into the abyss with you. When we’re in situation and you trust, it’s a strong thing and it shows on the screen.

will hit select theaters on August 16 and shall be available to stream on Netflix from August 30.

This article was originally published on : www.essence.com
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