Chart-topping R&B artists Brandy, Maxwell, Jill Scott and Keyshia Cole have been tapped to headline the 2013 Essence Festival at the New Orleans Superdome in July. The annual event celebrates black empowerment, music and culture.

Other artists slated to perform include LL Cool J, New Edition, Bridget Kelly, Blackstreet, Big Daddy Kane, Mint Condition and Les Nubians. In addition, community activists Rev. Al Sharpton, legislator John Lewis and motivational speaker-author Dr. Steve Perry will give lectures at the event. This year's festival will also feature an all-star gospel tribute to Pastor Donnie McClurkin and Tramaine Hawkins.

This announcement comes on the heels of Maxwell releasing the titles of several songs featured on his forthcoming LP, 'SUMMERS',' the follow-up to his Grammy-winning 'BLACKsummers'night' album. So this summer is the perfect time for you to catch the handsome crooner perform some of his new songs at the festival.

Last year's headliners included Mary J. Blige, Aretha Franklin, D'Angelo, Chaka Khan and Melanie Fiona.

Tickets are on sale now for the 2013 Essence Music Festival, which takes place on July 4 through 7. To cop your tickets, book your hotel and more, click here.

Watch Brandy's 'Put It Down' Feat. Chris Brown

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