TV One renews Essence Music Festival


TV One ( and Essence ( have signed a deal marking TV One’s third year  as the official broadcast sponsor of the 2011 Essence Music Festival, which features the biggest names in entertainment and the nation’s most influential speakers, artists, authors and leaders and is the nation’s largest annual gathering celebrating African-American music and culture.

As a major part of its sponsorship, TV One will produce TV One Night Only: Live from the Essence Music Festival, a two-hour music highlights celebration, expected to premiere in September 2011. On the main stage over three nights, TV One Night Only: Live from the Essence Music Festival will capture exhilarating performances from some of the biggest names in entertainment, which include Mary J. Blige, Usher, Kanye West, New Edition, Jill Scott, Jennifer Hudson, BoyzIIMen, Chaka Khan, El DeBarge, Fantasia, and Charlie Wilson. A collection of short interstitial packages will connect these heart-stopping musical performances with intimate, unprecedented celebrity access that only ESSENCE can provide its fans. The special will deliver the true emotion of the talent backstage plus rehearsals and preparations of the most dazzling stars and capture personal exchanges between the artists – some for the first time, some as old friends reuniting.

The agreement also provides TV One with the option to secure exclusive rights to broadcast music highlights from the Festival in 2012 and 2013.

“ESSENCE and TV One have developed a strong partnership in our first two years, and we are delighted to be working together again on a third major television event,” said ESSENCE President Michelle Ebanks.  “TV One Night Only: Live from the Essence Music Festival will capture the Festival experience in New Orleans and bring it right into the living rooms of fans all over the country.”

“TV One Night Only: Live from the Essence Music Festival has consistently proved to be TV One’s highest-rated annual special, so we are delighted to be partnering with Michelle Ebanks and her team for a third season,” said TV One President and CEO Johnathan Rodgers. “They have created an amazing cultural event, and it is TV One’s privilege to be able to share it with millions of viewers who don’t have the opportunity to visit New Orleans to experience the Festival live and in person.”

In addition to the world premiere special, TV One has three full days of activities planned for the festival, including meet and greet sessions at TV One’s booth (#400) at the New Orleans Convention Center with network talent, such as LisaRaye, star of the  hit reality series, LisaRaye: The Real McCoy; Toccara and her bachelors from the upcoming second season of The Ultimate Merger; Jayne Kennedy and Christopher Williams, featured in the new season of Life After; Big Daddy Kane, Deniece Williams and Evelyn “Champagne” King, featured in the current season of TV One’s NAACP Image Award-winning series Unsung; Phil Morris, co-star of TV One’s first original scripted series, sitcom Love That Girl; comedian Joe Clair from Way Black When; and Roland Martin, host of Washington Watch with Roland Martin; plus TV One-sponsored celebrity appearances each day on the Experience Stage.

(Source: TV One)