Brown Sistas At The 2008 Essence Music Festival

Singers Keyshia Cole, Mary J. Blige and Rihanna, were just a handful of Brown Sistas who converged on New Orleans over the weekend for the 2008 Essence Music Festival. The festival, which is now in it’s 14th year, is probably best known for it’s stellar line-up of musical acts, but the three day event also draws hordes of fans who show up for the dance workshops and panel discussions, which draw non musical celebrities like Bill Cosby and Dr. Cornell West. Music however is the force that binds this festival together and as in year’s past, well established and not so well established acts shared the same stage and received equal billing.

Singer Keyshia Cole made her second appearance at the festival last night and not only performed, but signed copies of her CD for fans as well.

Check out pages 2, 3 and 4 below for more pics from the 2008 Essence Music Festival.


  1. Sanaa and Solonge look great! They all look nice actually.

  2. Nice pics, but something seems off about rihanna being there, i thought it was the “soul” music festival, what exactly could she have performed to get a predominantly black crowd going?? oh well, still wish i could have been there to enjoy the performances

  3. Solange looks good. This hair styles is much better than the last one she rocked. [It doesn’t seem as heavy & the combover is gone. I love the eye makeup play.

    I never understood why some folks put restriction on “Black” music. Music is unniversal & it should be appreciated PERIOD. It’s fine to have preferences, but to thumb your nose down on another music just because of it’s style?

  4. Well if the previous comment is meant for me that’s fine, but i’m just trying to make a point. Rihanna does not sing music that would be considered from the “soul”. She is a “pop” artist. That’s like them having Britney Spears come sing at the festival. I just don’t think she was relevant to the event, and again that is my opinion

  5. Love my beautiful sistahs, but Rihanna’s hair looks a hot mess!

  6. Solange looks really pretty and of course Rihanna looks hott <<< *rockstar*!!

    Keyshia is looking rather… umm… classy(??) in the picture of her sitting w/ her doggy. I really like it on her. It’s always nice to see artist that you never expected to look poised/classy, mature their look- and attitude.

  7. well mrs jones I agree,
    if you look at who mainly spend money on essence
    is noone who would exactly call rihanna one of their favorites.
    i think rihanna, chris and were bad choices..
    i just hope they have robin thicke next year.
    i enjoyed his performance more than chris and beyonce.
    juanita bynum’s seminar touched my heart
    my grandmo always used to tell me that god
    speaks to you using others..and she was.
    i wonder whose gonna be in
    next years line-up.

  8. Are we now acting like “Glastonbury” who didn’t want Jay Z to rock the “Indie” festival in Europe? I mean really, African American women listen to all types of music and I purchase Essence and I listen to Rihanna and all the black professional people I deal with do as well. It scares me how we try to define what is the correct” black Music” what is it? Name all the music I should like, since I buy Essence every month…If you READ Essence you will see in the MUSIC section they have all types of music. Isn’t Janet and Michael Jackson POP? Michael created POP MUSIC! Black people are innovators not followers Rihanna, Chris, Estelle etc.. are great at what they do and instead of a another complaint..”sigh” we should be glad young people have an alternative to some artist who’s music can be deemed less than flattering to women/black etc..I hope we continue to show budding artist and mix it up a bit. My advice to all people reading, who want to break out, and sing what you want to sing, paint what you wanna, sculp what you wanna, and be different is to DO IT! Leaders CAUSE change not follow it…..Peace

  9. @Ms.Jones&@Bee said:

    Who are you two to tell people who they should like or dislike. You weren’t there so you don’t know if black people were rocking to that or not.

    Music is universal and everyone likes everything. If Britney Spears came there that would be fine if the audience liked it. I am a black woman and I like all kinds of music and hate that fact that they have the same musical artisist every year. I wish they would start inviting jazz artisist and artisit like Leidisi, Lala Hathaway, & Chrisette Michelle.

    If you want too box yourself into what you can and cannot like then that is fine, but, don’t do that to everyone else. Most of the popular black music is not soul music anymore nowadays it’s all pop.

  10. All the ladies are looking lovely as usual, I’m sure those who performed were off the hook.

    Its nice to see young black artists doing there thing……

    You go girls….

  11. thanx for your opinion bria, mine stays the same

  12. I don’t necesarily favor one over the other, so please don’t think I’m hating but that looks like the dance Beyonce did at the BET Awards a few years ago. Just an observation, no disrespect to her. All the ladies look nice. Good to See Solange, she is putting herself out there these days.

  13. MRSJONES3 :

    beyonce is pop

    keyshia has some pop song

    mary has some pop song

    alicia has some pop song

    solange as hard as she is trying is pop

    jordin sparks is pop

    mariah carey is pop

    ciara is pop

    janet is pop

    leona lewis is pop

    and i could get farther stop the hypocrisy if you dont like the sister say so its your prerogative

    the fact is no matter what you sing or perform
    black folks are actracted to a certain type of people and they’ll
    love you even is you put out an album full of the star spangled banner remixes

    So lets all get over it

  14. okay okay…
    didnt i say demographics?
    before you accuse me of being close minded
    i listen to everything..
    the essence audience is mainly 25-45 year old black women (and men)..
    most of those three entertainers’ audience are between the ages of 12-25…
    think about it…
    I didnt say anything in my statement about black/white, race
    or what black people should like and all that.
    you say most music nowadays is pop
    but most have been complaining that they want feel-good soul/r&b music back..
    am i lying?!
    im young and am born and raised in new orleans
    so ive been around essence and i attend seminars and concerts and talk to different people..
    they look forward to seeing their favorite soul and r&b..
    has mike, janet or britney ever performed at essence?
    so please i respect your opinion and all but dont try to belittle me.

  15. Nice to see Solange being shown some luv. I really luv that picture of her giving the peace sign and she looks great. Sanaa also looks fantastic. Of all the sistas I like her and Solange the most.

    “Lovely One” by-The Jacksons

    Why don`t you believe me when I say
    that I love
    I`m crazy `bout you
    You wear the face that tells me you
    think my loving ain`t true
    I`m all about you
    You`re my desire
    I get higher every time I speak
    your name
    That`s all I do
    And the way that I can`t sleep at night
    Just proves what I go through
    I`m crazy `bout you

    Now the first time that I saw you
    walking down the street so pretty
    Gone with your bad self
    Now you say that I don`t love, when
    it`s giving my love pains
    It`s the hurt and the tension
    Girl, it`s driving me insane


    You are my, you are my, you are my
    lovely one
    You are my, you are my, you are my
    lovely one
    You are my, you are my, you are my
    lovely one
    You are my, you are my, you are my
    lovely one

  16. All the ladies look great! Especially Keyshia Cole.

  17. Nice pics. I just wish I was there. Hopefully next year.

  18. @darksista

    a hypocrite i am not, but damnit she sings all pop!! she was out of place at the bet awards, and out of place here. yes everyone has tried the mainstream songs, but that’s all she sings. and no, u have not ever seen michael or janet, or anybody like that at the essence music festival, but i think they would actually belong, because they have soul music roots. I will admit i don’t care for rihanna, because i don’t feel she’s an artist, to me she’s more like a model posing as a musician, but that is not the reason for my comment. if my reasoning is hypocritical to you, frankly i dont give a d@mn

  19. Mrs. Jones3,

    Your kind of angry anything going on…lol…wow.Anyway, Pop or not I don’t know the definition for”soul” Would any music a black artist makes soul/maybe different aspect but still soul music, so I guess most of us pretty much disagree but my “glastonbury”statement still stands.I hate to see black people pick apart one anothers craft but you know “you don’t give a damn” as I understand. Peace and positive is what we need not a european way of dealing with music that is not grouped where we feel it should be. Just my thoughts ..Hope your a ummmm day is better…

  20. The Essence Music Fest. rocks & all the artists looked great!!!

    @ Bee…How are you gonna say Rihanna, a pop artist, doesn’t mesh well and then turns around say another pop artist Robin Thicke would be good for the festival? FYI girl, Chris Brown has performed at every Essence Music Festival the past 3 years. That fact alone must mean he caters to the “demographic”…They have had Fergie perform there too!

    I like that the Essence mag & Music Festival don’t put black women in a box. If you really don’t wanna see an act there’s lots of other things you could do there!!! I can’t wait to buy my ticket for next Indepence day weekend!

  21. @ Bee Oh, I forgot to answer your question. I hear Beyonce will be in the line up next year….I personally think veterans Chris Brown and Mary J Blige might comeback but that is just my opinion.

  22. Mr JOnes
    Sista i’m not trying to offend you trust me 🙂
    Im just saying sometimes its hard to express the fact that you dislike a certain person [not because you’re a hateful human being ] without being perceived as a “hater” that’s why i was trying to say 🙂 there is no reason to curse 🙂


  23. i know this is so random but i would love to see toni braxton at essence
    since she aint in vegas no more.
    fergie performed at essence. when?
    my cousin just came back from new orleans and said she thought
    last years was better.
    i mean its all in opinion in perferance and everybody has a good point

  24. @ Southern_guh…why did you have to ask that? LOL!!!! It was 2005. She actually performed with the Black Eyed peas. LOL! That kinda weakens my argument…still Fergie did perform!

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