*New Orleans turned into a Brown paradise when Hennessy, the bestselling Cognac worldwide as well as one of the most celebrated and storied brands in history, hosted several exclusive events in New Orleans during the 2012 Essence Music Festival, Thursday, July 5 to Saturday, July 7, 2012. Hennessy is imported and distributed in the U.S. by Moet Hennessy USA and is a subsidiary of LVMH. Hennessy distills, ages and blends a full range of marques, including Hennessy V.S, Privilege V.S.O.P, Hennessy Black, X.O, Paradis and Richard Hennessy.
Throughout the festival, many luminaries stopped by the Hennessy Luxe Lounge in the Morial Convention Center where they mixed, mingled and enjoyed their favorite brown drinks specially created for the event. VIPs also were treated to hair-cuts, massages, make-up sessions, and walked away with fabulous swag bags. Some of the VIPs coming through included Vanessa Williams, Lance Gross, Tyrese, Jamie Foxx, Mary J. Blige, Paula Patton, Angela Simmons, Amber Rose, Cee-Lo Green, Dwayne Wade, Jesse Williams, Tia Mowry and many more.
The Hot Hennessy Happenings kicked off on Thursday, July 5, 2012 at Carol’s Daughter Pop-Up Store in the heart of the French Quarter, 214 Decatur Street, from 8pm-10pm. Hosted by Carol’s Daughter, The Diva Lounge and Hennessy, the exclusive Hennessy happening featured an exclusive shopping soiree benefiting Dress for Success, an organization that provides clothing to women returning to the work force, in New Orleans. The For You Bayou Presented by Hennessy, event honored leading ladies of Louisiana’s underprivileged community and culture including Kim Bondy, executive producer, TV One Network election coverage; Eliza Eugene, CEO, Eliza Eugene Enterprises; Melissa Harris-Perry, Professor of Political Science, Tulane University & host, MSNBC’s “Melissa Harris-Perry;” and Carla Major, site director, New Orleans Works, NOW at Greater New Orleans Foundation. Celebrity DJ Amanda Seales kept the party going and We TV’s Trina Braxton from the hit show, The Braxton Family Values, was there showing support and mingling with Carol’s Daughter creator, Lisa Price.
On Friday, July 6, comedian Kevin Hart hosted a VIP event presented by Hennessy at the Saint Hotel, 931 Canal Street, from 11pm-2am. The “Think Like A Man” star attracted an envious A-List crowd at the Hennessy V.S and Essence Birthday Celebration for their number 1 funnyman. There were so many stars in attendance that they were trippin’ over each other from Denzel Washington to Trey Songz; from “Single Ladies’” LisaRaye and Denise Vasi who took over the stage for an impromptu dance off. Other celebrities in the house included Tisha Campbell, Anthony Mackie, The Cast Of Single Ladies – LisaRaye McCoy, Denise Vasi, Charity Shea, D. B. Woodside, Terrell Tilford, Tamar Braxton, Trina Braxton, Eva Marcille, Lance Gross, Keisha Knight Pulliam, Michael Ealy, Brandon T. Jackson, Lamman Rucker, Michael Jai Walker, Denyce Lawton, Cynthia Bailey, Tank, Craig Robinson, Shaunie O’Neil, Kevin Liles, DJ D-Nice and June Ambrose. (Photo Credit: Kirill Kuletski and Collins Metu)
On Saturday, July 7, over 600 people jammed at Hennessy’s Very Special Brunch in the lobby of the International House, 221 Camp Street from 11am-2pm with power driven music by DJ Wop and DJ D-Nice. This was such a hot ticket item that it attracted top Moet Hennessy USA executive Rodney Williams, senior vice president business-Hennessy, who had nothing but praise for event coordinator Rhonda McDonald, consumer development manager, Hennessy. The ultimate afternoon affair featured massage therapy; food to die for; and specially made Hennessy cocktails. Seen on the scene were Eric Benet, Marsha Ambrosius, Letoya Luckett, Bridget Kelly, Prince’s DJ, DJ Rashida and Alex Boyd. That evening, most of these stars were spotted at the swinging LisaRaye & Friends Everything White Affair presented by Hennessy at Club Voila, 300 Decatur Street from 11pm-2am.
Audrey J. Bernard is an established chronicler of Black society and Urban happenings based in the New York City area.