Kendrick Lamar photographed on Dec. 3, 2014 at Smashbox Studios in Culver City, Ca.
Mary J. Blige, Common, Kevin Hart & Erykah Badu are also part of the 2015 lineup.
Kendrick Lamar, Mary J. Blige, Common, Erykah Badu and Kevin Hart are among the first round of announced performers for the 2015 Essence Festival. Lamar will be making his debut at the annual festival, which takes place in New Orleans from July 2-5.
Billboard Cover: Kendrick Lamar on Ferguson, Iggy Azalea & More
Hart will headline the Essence “Now Playing” Concert, on July 2. Additional artists confirmed to play the Superdome stage during the festival’s nighttime concerts include: India.Arie, Trombone Shorty, Floetry, Kool Moe Dee, Doug E. Fresh, Mystikal, Slick Rick, Ivan Nevelle’s Dumpstaphunk, Robert Glasper, Nico & Vinz, Mali Music, Lianne La Havas, Elle Varner, Esperanza Spalding, SZA, Kelly Price, Raheem DeVaughn, Eric Roberson, Avery Sunshine and Goapele.
More performers will be announced in the coming weeks. Hosting the festival weekend will be comedians Nephew Tommy from the Steve Harvey Morning Show and Luenell.
Returning as presenting sponsor of the 2015 Essence Festival is Coca-Cola. Major sponsors are Ford, My Black Is Beautiful and Verizon.