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*Janet Jackson has been booked as the third and final headliner for the Essence Music Festival this Fourth of July weekend–July 2, 3 and 4–in New Orleans.

The actress-singer will make her festival debut on July 2, according to an announcement today from Essence. The event will also mark Jackson’s first full performance since her 2008 concert at Madison Square Garden in New York.

The artist, whose latest single “Nothing” is released today on iTunes, joins an Essence Music Fest lineup that includes Mary J. Blige and Alicia Keys.

“This year’s Essence Music Festival line-up is headed up by three of the most talented and powerful women in music today,” said Michelle Ebanks, president, Essence Communications Inc. “With the return of both Mary J. Blige and Alicia Keys, and the first-ever performance from Janet Jackson, I can’t think of a better way to celebrate Essence’s 40th anniversary.”

The full list of acts confirmed for this year’s weekend-long celebration of music, culture and community–set for July 2, 3 and 4–is as follows: Alicia Keys, Arrested Development, Big Sam’s Funky Nation, DJ Soul Sister, Estelle, Hot 8 Brass Band, Irma Thomas, Irvin Mayfield and NOJO, Ivan Neville’s Dumpstaphunk, Kermit Ruffins and the Barbecue Swingers, Lalah Hathaway, Leo Jackson and the Melody Clouds, Little Freddie King, LL Cool J, Mary J. Blige, Mary Mary, Mint Condition, Monica, Rebirth Brass Band, Ruben Studdard, Sam & Ruby, Shamarr Allen and the Underdawgs, Soul Rebels Brass Band, Trey Songz and WAR.

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