Janet Jackson Remembers Her Father at Essence

{Updated] Keeping the fans in the Superdome has been a challenge for the acts that close the Essence Festival, but Janet Jackson didn’t start to hemorrhage audience members until a lengthy mid-set DJ break. That ended with the band playing “Let’s Wait a While” as an instrumental, which fans took as a chance to sing or leave. Still, once she was back onstage and performing, the exodus slowed significantly.

The Music That Made Me Happy in 2015

I got out of the year-end list business when I realized too much music came out that I didn’t hear for me to feel like my list had much authority. Time, temperament and mailing lists conspire to keep my listening from being broad enough to think that my Best Of choices might actually be among the best. Instead, I’ve reframed the question to talk about the music I’m happiest that I heard, the shows I’m happiest that I saw, and the books I’m happiest I read this year. To me, that’s what matters, and I made it by memory.

Badu vs. Braxton - Who's Real at Essence?

[Updated] For most of the crowd in the Superdome Sunday for the end of the 20th year of the Essence Festival, the night was about Charlie Wilson and Lionel Richie. For me, the fireworks came early. The night opened with Tamar, who presumes to be on a single-name basis with the world. I, not being part of the world, needed a last name—Braxton—to give her context.

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