(AllHipHop Features) The 2018 Essence Festival was certainly another one for the books.
Essence once again took over the Ernest N. Morial New Orleans Convention center by day, and the Mercedes Super Dome by night for yet another year of action -packed panels, performances, and an overall celebration of black excellence and black girl magic.
The annual event, now in it's 24th year, saw over half a million attendees this year, with each night off the festival being sold out for the first time!
It's safe to say that the success of the 2018 Essence Festival was due to the festival's legacy, and as expected, the 'Girls Trip' effect.
Will Packer did an incredible job capturing the essence of Essence Fest in his film 'Girls Trip' movie, and as a result almost everyone felt the need to head down to New Orleans to experience all of the magic for themselves.
Essence Festival is one all-inclusive festival as it features big-name concert headliners, workshops, panels , and keynote speeches, technology, style, and beauty.
Queen Latifah arguably had the second best set with her Essence Fest debut, as she not only performed her hits, but she also brought out the fellow music veterans and legends Missy Elliot, MC Lyte, YoYo, Brandy, Monie Love, Remy Ma, Brandy, and Salt N Pepa.
The iconic Janet Jackson reigned supreme as Sunday's headliner.
Ms. Jackon (if you're nasty) ran through an incredible medley of her hits that included "All For You", "What's It Gonna Be", "Scream", "Anytime, Any Place," "I Get Lonely", "Skin Game", "Nasty", "That's the Way Love Goes" and many more.
Jackson's alluring, electrifying, and sometimes sensual choreography reminded fans of why she is so legendary and iconic.
The 52-year-old diva didn't miss a beat as she killed so many choreographed numbers with hardly a break in between.
Jackson's DJ, DJ Aktive, certainly rocked the show as only he could.
Janet also gave an emotional tribute to her late father, Joe Jackson, who recently passed away after losing a battle with cancer.
Fantasia brought the house down with her unique "R&B Rock Soul".
She also brought attendees to tears and to their feet when her brother joined her on a stage, after a testimonial video about his life and him surviving a tragic accident was shown on the screen.
The legendary Teddy Riley turned the Super Dome into a 80s and 90s New Jack Swing Party as Guy, Blackstreet, SWV, Doug E. Fresh, Hi Five, Tank, Ginuwine, and Keith Sweat joined him on stage to help him perform hits he'd either written, produced, or was a part of.
R&B group Xscape received such a big response in numbers to their performance last year in the Super Lounge that they were moved to the main stage this year.
They say Essence Fest isn't Essence without Mary J. Blige, so to no one's surprise, the Queen of Hip Hop Soul returned to the main stage this year to bless fans with yet another entertaining set of outfit changes and her extensive and classic catalog.
H.E.R., Marsha Ambrosius, June's Diary, Daniel Ceasar, Erykah Badu, Jill Scott, The Roots, Snoop Dogg, Miguel, Ledisi, Ella Mai, Kool Moe Dee, Kelly Price, Keke Wyatt and many more hit the main stage and super lounge stages.