The annual Essence Festival has been around since 1995, but Queen Latifah will finally perform for the first time at the festival this year. And she's bringing some special guests on stage with her at New Orleans' Louisiana Superdome for her July performance: Missy Elliott, Remy Ma, MC Lyte and Nikki D. The festival is calling it Queen Latifah Presents "Ladies First." The 2018 Essence Festival will take place July 5-8 in New Orleans.
Queen Latifah rose to fame as a Grammy-winning rapper, but she has since gone on to become a Golden Globe-winning actress and Emmy-winning TV producer. She has also hosted numerous TV shows and produced several movies. One thing she hasn't done in a long time is tour, so fans will be waiting to see what her show at the Essence Festival will be like. She hasn't released an album since 2009's Persona, but when she participated in VH1's 2016 "Hip-Hop Honors: All Hail the Queens" concert/award show, it seemed as if she might be ready to return doing concerts as a music artist. Elliott and Queen Latifah were honored at the event. Queen Latifah, MC Lyte, Remy Ma and Nikki D were also performers at the Hip-Hop Honors event, which probably inspired their collaboration at the Essence Festival.
Queen Latifah's participation in the Essence Festival this year is also likely because the Essence Festival was at the center of her 2017 comedy film "Girls Trip," which also starred Jada Pinkett Smith, Regina Hall and Tiffany Haddish. "Girls Trip" was about four friends from college who reunite for a trip to the festival. The movie was a big hit, with ticket sales of more $140 million worldwide, according to Box Office Mojo.