Mya, 44, Still Sizzles at the Essence Festival of Culture, 26 YEARS After Her First Hit

This summer, R&B singer Mya turned heads at the ESSENCE Festival of Culture in New Orleans. The singer, who rose to prominence in 1998 with the release of her self-titled album, celebrated the festival’s 30th anniversary in style. Mya has worked as a dancer, singer, and actor over the years and showed she’s still a force to be reckoned with after her performance and eye-catching look.

Mya wears a black shirt and silver hoop earrings. She sits on a  couch.
Mya | Prince Williams/WireImage

At the festival, Mya partnered with My Black is Beautiful, a haircare line. She wore an off-the-shoulder shirt with the brand’s logo on it and posed at their booth at the festival’s Creator House. The haircare brand has “celebrated Black beauty and culture” since 2006.

Mya wears a black shirt, shorts, and thigh high boots. She stands with her hand on her hip.
Mya | Prince Williams/WireImage

Mya paired her shirt with a pair of tight black mini shorts, skin-tone fishnets, and black, lace-up, thigh-high boots. She accessorized with glittering, rhinestoned sunglasses and silver hoop earrings.

Mya wears sunglasses on the top of her head. She holds a microphone near her face.
Mya | Prince Williams/WireImage

The “It’s All About Me” singer kept her hair and makeup glamorously classic. She glowed in a red lip, half-up half-down hairstyle, and French tip nails.

Mya hugs Victoria Monet. She wears sunglasses, a black shirt, and black shorts. Monet wears a blue dress.
Victoria Monét and Mya | Prince Williams/WireImage

The Grammy winning artist spent the night celebrating with her fellow attendees, including singer Victoria Monét. Monét, who performed on the third night of the festival, excitedly embraced Mya at The Fillmore, a music venue in New Orleans.

Mya wears sunglasses, a black shirt, and black shorts. She holds up a peace sign and stands with D-Nice, who wears a hat, white shirt, white pants, and beige sweater around his shoulders.
Mya and D-Nice | Prince Williams/WireImage

She also spent time with DJ and record producer D-Nice. The pair looked striking together, with Mya in her all-black outfit and D-Nice in an all-white look.

Mya holds a microphone and wears a blue and white jacket while performing at the ESSENCE festival in 2024.
Mya performing at the ESSENCE Festival | Marcus Ingram/Getty Images for ESSENCE

Mya was one of the performers to take the stage at the AT&T’s Dream in Black stage during the festival. She spoke about her excitement to perform.

“I’m looking forward to headlining the AT&T Dream in Black connected stage as we gear up to celebrate thirty years of ESSENCE Festival,” she told Billboard. “I know I’ll cherish this performance because it gives me the opportunity to connect with my fans and take them through my journey as an artist as we reflect on the last three decades of art and culture within the Black community.”

Mya sings into a microphone and holds one arm up in the air. She wears a blue and white jacket.
Mya onstage at ESSENCE Festival | Marcus Ingram/Getty Images for ESSENCE

In a separate interview, she noted that she found the event and the opportunity to perform inspiring.

“Right off the bat, I thought it was an interesting idea, the Dream in Black [platform] celebrating Black culture,” she told AdWeek. “And New Orleans itself is a beautiful place with so much culture and a place that everyone comes to. It’s also Essence’s 30th celebration, a huge milestone. I love being a part of cultural events. All the aspects of Essence Fest — I love what it stands for. It’s motivating, it’s inspiring, it’s empowering.”

Mya, whose music has influenced countless other performers, continues to make music, releasing the songs “Anytime” and “So Hype” in 2024. She is also deeply involved in philanthropic efforts.

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