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NEW ORLEANS, LA – JULY 06: Snoop Dogg performs during the 2018 Essence Music Festival at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on July 6, 2018 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Erika Goldring/Getty Images)

Essence Fest Celebrates Black Women With Music, Workshops & Celebs

Snoop Dogg kicked off the 2018 Essence Festival by taking the audience to church.

The West Coast rapper was one of the headliners for the first night of the show, and after running through his hits like “Gin & Juice” and “Murder Was The Case,” before he brought out gospel legends like Fred Hammond, Pastor John Kee and the Clark Sisters during his inspirational set.

“When I heard that your heart was saved, I said I would praise God with you any day,” Hammond told Snoop.

The Roots kicked off their our and a half set with a huge brass band before neo-soul queens Jill Scott and Erykah Badu joined them on the same stage. The singers shared a smooch before launching into their catalog of hits.

NEW ORLEANS, LA – JULY 06: Jill Scott (L) and Erykah Badu perform with The Roots during the 2018 Essence Music Festival at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on July 6, 2018 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Erika Goldring/Getty Images)

Saturday’s headliners include Mary J. Blige and Queen Latifah and the First Ladies of Hip-Hop and Xscape.

NEW ORLEANS, LA – JULY 06: Jill Scott performs during the 2018 Essence Music Festival at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on July 6, 2018 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Erika Goldring/Getty Images)

The Essence Festival is sponsored in part by Ford, My Black Is Beautiful, McDonalds, Coca-Cola and the New Orleans Multicultural Tourism Network.

Hit the flip for more pics from the first day of Essence Fest:

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