Lionel Richie And The Commodores Rock The Essence Awards
July 6, 2009 at 3:21 AM (PT)
LIONEL RICHIE got a little help from his former bandmates to close out the weekend's ESSENCE Music Festival, as members of THE COMMODORES joined him on stage to sing several of their hits, including "Brick House" and "Just to be Close to You." The crowd remained on their feet through the nearly two-hour set and RICHIE's encore of "All Night Long."
The final night of the festival stretched well into early MONDAY at THE SUPERDOME, with performances by RICHIE, EN VOGUE, TEENA MARIE, AL GREEN and MAZE, featuring FRANKIE BEVERLY. BEVERLY and MAZE have closed out the event each of the past 15 years. NEW ORLEANS Mayor RAY NAGIN presented BEVERLY with the city's crystal star award.
SUNDAY's events started with inspiring gospel at the MORIAL CONVENTION CENTER, along with honors for Bishop T.D. JAKES, the DALLAS pastor who gave the sermon for President BARACK OBAMA's inauguration.