Luke James Pays Homage to Prince, Marsha Ambrosius Reveals Pregnancy and More During Night Three of Essence Fest

by Ashlee Nicole
From Babyface, to New Edition, to Mariah Carey, to the Bad Boy Family, the performances I anticipated definitely lived up to my expectations, giving me all of my childhood life.

Words can’t express how ready I was for night three. I’ve literally waited to witness the greatness that Puff Daddy and the Family was going to give us that night. And they delivered.

NIGHT 3: Prince tribute, Andra Day, Ciara, Kendrick Lamar, Puff Daddy & the Family

I was very interested to see who’d perform during the Prince tribute. I was also very excited to see New Orleans’ own Luke James open the show with a few of my favorite songs. From then, Kelly Price, Marsha Ambrosius, Ashling Cole, Doug E. Fresh, and Sly and the Family Stone bassist Larry Graham gave their best renditions of Prince’s timeless classics. It ended with a jazz funeral procession while the band played, “I’ll Fly Away” which left a few, including myself, teary-eyed.

Let me say that I honestly wasn’t there for Andra Day‘s performance until she performed. She. was. amazing. She has an amazing voice and an impeccable spirit. She won me over, I’m a fan. Ciara was cute. We didn’t hear any new music from her, but she kept us on our feet with her old hits like, “1, 2 Step,” “Oh,” and “Like a Boy.” I didn’t realize her voice was actually that good. Kendrick Lamar was lit. Like last year, he tore the dome down. But it was Puff Daddy & the Family who lit that Superdome on fire. Now, he didn’t bring out the entire family, but Faith Evans, 112, and Ma$e were enough to keep the old school party rolling. He also brought out French Montana, Fabolous, and Marsha Ambrosius who unveiled her very pregnant baby bump.

I had an overall great time at ESSENCE, and as always, I’m looking forward to next year!

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