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Alicia Keys added to 2010 Essence lineup

R&B superstar Alicia Keys has been added to the headline roster for this year’s Essence Music Festival in New Orleans.

Keys will join Mary J. Blige, Gladys Knight, Keri Hilson, Jill Scott, Raphael Saadiq, Charlie Wilson, Earth, Wind and Fire and others performing at the Louisiana Superdome July 2-4.

The festival began in 1995 to mark the 25th anniversary of Essence magazine. Last year, the event marked its 15th anniversary with a record-breaking 428,000 attendees. Besides music, the festival includes free motivational and self-improvement seminars and is billed as one of the largest events in America that celebrates black music and culture.

This will be Keys’ third time performing. Other 2010 acts include De La Soul, Chrisette Michele, Joe, Laura Izibor and Melanie Fiona. Louisiana acts will include Irma Thomas, Irvin Mayfield, Ivan Neville, Kermit Ruffins and Little Freddie King.

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