SOURCE: Music World Entertainment

May 05, 2008 17:07 ET

Music World Entertainment Partners With ESSENCE Magazine to Release a Series of Essence Music Festival CDs and DVDs

"Essence Music Festival, Volume 1" Will Be in Stores June 17, 2008, Exclusively in Wal-Mart Stores Through July 28th; as of July 29th the Release Will Be Available at All Retailers as Well as Online at Many Digital Retailers

HOUSTON, TX--(Marketwire - May 5, 2008) - "Essence Music Festival, Volume 1" will be released on CD June 17, 2008 on Mathew Knowles' Music World Music. The CD features studio recordings of music performed at the Essence Music Festival's triumphant 2007 return to New Orleans, LA, last year. This release is the first in a series of CDs and DVDs featuring music and live performances from Essence Music Festivals from the past, present, future as well as other compilations that will be sold exclusively in store at Wal-Mart nationwide through July 28th; as of July 29th the release will be available at all retailers as well as many digital retailers online.

"We are excited about this new partnership with ESSENCE magazine. They have always signified excellence and have been an incredible voice for women around the world. Music World has had a long-standing relationship with ESSENCE, our artists have supported and participated in the festivals throughout the years, so it is great that we are collaborating on this exclusive music venture. This will allow us to capture and make available to everyone, through retailers and online, some of the greatest music and performances from the Essence Music Festivals over the years. We look forward to continuing a long-term relationship with ESSENCE," says Mathew Knowles, President and CEO, Music World Entertainment.

"ESSENCE is thrilled to partner with Mathew Knowles' Music World Entertainment and Wal-Mart for the release of 'Essence Music Festival, Volume I,'" says Michelle Ebanks, President, Essence Communications Inc. "Music World Entertainment is a dynamic force in the music industry, and the release of these recordings will undoubtedly enhance our efforts to bring New Orleans and the magic of the Essence Music Festival directly to the homes of those who may or may not have had the opportunity to witness it live."

The A-list lineup on "Volume 1" includes Beyoncé, Mary J. Blige, Chris Brown, Kelly Rowland, Ne-Yo, Ciara, Robin Thicke, Lyfe Jennings, Solange, Common, Maze ft. Frankie Beverly, The O'Jays and newcomer, Brian Courtney Wilson!

The Essence Music Festival is the nation's largest annual gathering of African-American musical talent, featuring an unprecedented three days of cultural celebrations and empowerment seminars and three nights of performances by some of today's greatest African-American artists.

The Essence Music Festival started in 1995 as a one-time event to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of ESSENCE magazine. Now the Festival has been heralded as one of the country's "Top 10 Leading Brand Events" in 2007 by Advertising Age; highlighted prominently among well-known consumer events such as NASCAR and Spring Break. The Essence Music Festival has featured a host of legendary performers over the years, including Alicia Keys, Aretha Franklin, Beyoncé, Chaka Khan, Chris Brown, Destiny's Child, Earth, Wind & Fire, Gladys Knight, LL Cool J, Jamie Foxx, John Legend, Kanye West, The Isley Brothers, Lionel Richie, Luther Vandross, Mary J. Blige, The O'Jays, Prince, Stevie Wonder, Toni Braxton, Patti LaBelle and Yolanda Adams, to name a few.

About Music World Entertainment:

Music World Entertainment (MWE) is one of the world's leading entertainment and music conglomerates dedicated to bringing quality entertainment to the world. MWE worldwide business includes record labels, artist and producer management, staff producers, artist development, Master catalog series, investment and property holdings, including offices in Houston, Los Angeles, New York and London. MWE is the brainchild of President and CEO Mathew Knowles, the powerhouse management behind the success of Grammy Award-winners Beyoncé and global phenomenon Destiny's Child, the most successful "girl group" in the history of pop music.

Music World Music is the label division of Music World Entertainment. This division consists of four imprints: Music World Kids, Compadre Records, Spirit Rising, and the digital label Hits Revealed. Music World's artist roster includes artists signed to major label partners such as Columbia, Geffen Records and Interscope Records.

Music World is one of the most successful labels and management companies in the world with over 200 million records sold to date including releases by Destiny's Child, Beyoncé, Solange Knowles, Michelle Williams, Sunshine Anderson, the "Dreamgirls" Music from the Motion Picture Soundtrack, "Roll Bounce" Soundtrack and the popular Music World Master Series releases, which include Chaka Kahn and The O'Jays.

About Essence Communications Inc.:

Essence Communications Inc. (ECI) is the leading media and communications company dedicated to African-American women. With a multi-platform presence in publishing, live events, and online, the Essence brand is "Where Black Women Come First." The company's flagship publication, ESSENCE magazine, is the preeminent lifestyle magazine for African-American women; generating brand extensions such as the Essence Music Festival, Women Who Are Shaping the World Leadership Summit, Window on Our Women (WOW I, II & III) and Smart Beauty I, II & III consumer insights, the Essence Book Club, Essence.com, and ventures in digital media (mobile, television and VOD) via Essence Studios. For 38 years, ESSENCE magazine, which has a readership of 8.3 million, has been the leading source of cutting-edge information relating to every area of African-American women's lives.

Additional information about ECI and ESSENCE is available at www.essence.com.

For additional information on Music World Entertainment and the "Essence Festival Volume 1," contact Chanel Green, Vice President of Publicity, Music World Entertainment, at 323-785-6400 or via e mail at chanel.green@musicworldent.com. www.musicworldentertainment.com

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