Essence will celebrate its 40th anniversary with three of R&B’s top divas, each headlining a night at the three day Essence Music Festival in New Orleans. Set to take place July 2 – 4, this year’s Essence Musical Festival line-up (including dates) was revealed Friday, kicking off with Janet Jackson ! According to organizers, Janet Jackson will headline the festival’s first major concert Friday, July 2, followed by Alicia Keys (Saturday, July 3) and Mary J. Blige (Sunday, July 4). The 2010 ESSENCE MUSIC FESTIVAL night-by-night line-up (as of 5/6) is as follows: Friday, July 2: Main stage: Janet Jackson, Charlie Wilson, Raphael Saadiq, Monica. Superlounges: Chrisette Michele, Irma Thomas, Arrested Development, Big Sam’s Funky Nation, Mary Mary, Irvin Mayfield & the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra, WAR, Little Freddie King, Ruben Studdard. Saturday, July 3: Main stage: Alicia Keys, Gladys Knight, LL Cool J, Keri Hilson. Superlounges: Laura Izibor, Sam & Ruby, De La Soul, Mint Condition, Leo Jackson & Melody Clouds, Joe, Rebirth Brass Band, Soul Rebels Brass Band. Sunday, July 4: Main stage: Mary J Blige, Earth Wind & Fire, Jill Scott, Trey Songz. Superlounges: Estelle, Hot 8 Brass Band,Lalah Hathaway, Ivan Neville’s Dumpstaphunk, Shamarr Allen and The Underdawgs, Melanie Fiona, PJ Morton Band, Kermit Ruffins & the BBQ Swingers. For those who haven’t yet purchased weekend passes for the 2010 ESSENCE MUSIC FESTIVAL, single day tickets go on sale Thursday, May 6 and are priced from $53â$212 per person per night. Meanwhile, weekend packages ranging from $159â$636 per person continue to offer music fans the best way to enjoy a full three days of entertainment. For additional information about ticket sales, accommodations and the latest news about the ESSENCE MUSIC FESTIVAL, visitwww.essencemusicfestival.com.