charlie wilson*(NEW YORK, NY)—Grammy-nominated R&B singer and ESSENCE Music Festival staple Charlie Wilson will feature exclusive merchandise from his “Uncle Charlie” line at the 2012 ESSENCE Music Festival being held in New Orleans.

Wilson, affectionately known as “Uncle Charlie” to fans, will also make an appearance and sign autographs while at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center at both the “Uncle Charlie Hat Booth” and the ESSENCE booth on Saturday, July 7th (2-3pm) and Sunday, July 8th (12pm-1pm). The items, which will include T-shirts, tote bags, coffee mugs and select styles from the new “Uncle Charlie” hat collection are available also at

As one of the most iconic voices in R&B music—and known for his hits both as a solo artist and former lead singer of the legendary GAP Band—Wilson will be performing on the Festival main stage on Friday, July 6th, at the Louisiana Superdome.

Now in its 18th year, the ultimate destination for entertainment and inspiration hosted over 422,000 attendees last year. What began in 1995 as a one-time event to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of ESSENCE magazine has now grown into one of the country’s “Top 10 Leading Brand Events” by Advertising Age.  The ESSENCE Music Festival is the nation’s largest annual gathering of African-American music and culture.  Throughout its history, the Festival has featured an array of performers including Aretha Franklin, Alicia Keys, Al Green, Beyoncé, Chaka Khan, Destiny’s Child, Earth, Wind & Fire, Gladys Knight, LL Cool J, Jamie Foxx, John Legend, The Isley Brothers, Lionel Richie, Luther Vandross, Maxwell, The O’Jays, Prince, Rihanna, Stevie Wonder, Toni Braxton, Patti LaBelle and Yolanda Adams and more.

For information about ticket sales and the latest news about the ESSENCE Music Festival, visit ESSENCE Music Festival Join the Festival community: follow us on Twitter @essencemusic #EssenceFest and become a fan of 2012 ESSENCE Music Festival on Facebook.

The 2012 ESSENCE Music Festival, in partnership with QuintEvents, has created “ESSENCE VIP Events” to offer fans the ultimate in “insider access”, with exclusive VIP ticket, travel and hospitality party venue packages. The Official packages are available now at the Official website,


Essence Communications Inc. (ECI) is the number one media company dedicated to African-American women, with a multi-platform presence in publishing, live events, and online.  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, ESSENCE Black Women in Hollywood and Black Women in Music, Window on Our Women and Smart Beauty consumer insights series, the Essence Book Club,, and ventures in digital media (mobile, television and VOD). For 42 years, ESSENCE, which has a brand reach of over 8 million, has been the leading source of cutting-edge information and specific solutions relating to every area of African-American women’s lives.  Additional information about ECI and ESSENCE is available at





Mozell Miley-Bailey, ESSENCE
[email protected]      

Sheila Harris, ESSENCE
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