The Essence Music Festival is already in full gear for 2013.This year's newly-rebranded ESSENCE Festival will be jam-packed with performances from a host of top stars, all of whom will take the stage in New Orleans over four days, starting July 4th. Among the more than 30 acts who'll be performing this year: Brandy, Jill Scott, Maxwell, Charlie Wilson, Keyshia Cole, LL Cool J, New Edition, Mint Condition, Jody Watley, Blackstreet, Big Daddy Kane and more.

This year's festival will also feature an all-star gospel tribute to Pastor Donnie McClurkin and Tramaine Hawkins.

In addition, the 2013 Essence Festival will feature over 50 top speakers, authors, innovators and leaders who'll offer fans information on topics ranging from health, careers and education, to civil rights, relationships, style and beauty. Among those participating: Rev. Al Sharpton, Rep. John Lewis and Dr. Steve Perry.

For more info, or to purchase tickets, visit