By Shaheem Reid
Janet Jackson performs at the Essence Music Festival in New Orleans on Friday
Photo: MTV News
Essence magazine is celebrating two very special anniversaries this weekend in New Orleans. It's been 40 years since the publication started and 16 years since they began what has become their Fourth of July holiday weekend staple: the Essence Music Festival.
This year, three of the biggest names in music — iconic figures, especially for the black community and women — are the headliners. Alicia Keys highlights the bill on Saturday, Mary J. Blige closes out the weekend on Sunday, and on Friday night, the 2010 Essence Fest was honored with pop-culture royalty. Janet Jackson brought the crowd in the New Orleans Superdome to their feet with an onslaught of timeless music from her globally cherished catalog.