Chrisette Michele, BBD Highlight Road to Essence on Saturday

The Road to Essence Festival is coming to Northwest Arkansas this weekend, visiting Bentonville for the second year in a row.

Artists Chrisette Michele, Chante Moore, BBD (Bell Biv DeVoe) and celebrity host MC Lyte will be performing at 6:30 p.m. Saturday, May 31 at Tiger Stadium, the Bentonville High School football field.

The event is open to the public and free of charge. The doors open at 5:30 p.m.

Chrisette Michele is a Grammy Award-winning R&B and soul singer-songwriter. She won a Grammy Award for best urban/alternative performance in 2009 for her song “Be OK.”

Chante Moore is an R&B and jazz singer and is also featured on the reality show, R&B Divas: Los Angeles.

Bell Biv DeVoe is the R&B/hip hop musical group that branched off from New Edition. It consists of three members of New Edition: Ricky Bell, Michael Bivins, and Ronnie DeVoe. BBD’s premiere album “Poison,” blending rhythm, blues, pop, and rock, achieved triple platinum success. 

MC Lyte is a rapper who first gained fame in the 1980s, becoming the first solo female rapper to release a full album with 1988’s critically acclaimed “Lyte as a Rock.” 

The Road to Essence is a way for artists to perform in communities on the way to the final destination – the 2014 Essence Festival on July 3-6 in New Orleans.

Over the past 20 years, the Essence Festival, held in New Orleans, has grown to become the largest event to celebrate African-American culture and music in the United States.