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2015 Essence Music Festival - Day 3

Source: Bennett Raglin / Getty

Missy Elliott is back and with a vengeance! She rocked the Essence Music Festival stage this weekend and reminded us that she’s a musical genius. She performed hit after hit: “Hot Boys,” “Minute Man,” “Work It,” and that’s just a couple. She would have performed more, but Essence cut off her mic and the lights, but why?

In the midst of her performing “Circles” with surprise guest, Jazmine Sullivan, Missy’s performance was over and the entire audience was like, “Huh?”

When a Coca-Cola ad played, the audience realized that Missy’s set was indeed done. But in the middle of a song? Usher was headlining the Saturday night shows and after he wrapped at 1 a.m., Missy returned to the stage to apologize. “Don’t say goodnight yet,” she said from the main stage as surprised fans headed toward the exits. “We had a production issue, and we want to say a proper goodbye to Missy Elliott.” She was accompanied by Essence Communications president, Michelle Ebanks and Monica, who was supposed to also grace the stage with Missy.

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According to, Ebanks attributed the abrupt conclusion of Elliott’s show to a “production issue.”

Elliott didn’t sugarcoat what happened. “I’m sorry I was cut off,” she said. “I came here to give 100 percent. I was cut off. I was disappointed. I thank you for coming out. I just wanted to say a proper good night, because I wasn’t allowed that earlier,” Elliott said. “It wasn’t me. I hope y’all enjoyed yourself.”

It’s been reported that Essence’s production team had been given strict instructions to keep the show on schedule. In past years, there have been many Essence Festival performances that have ran over, causing delays to snowball the entire evening. Closing acts usually start around 11 p.m.,  but because of various delays, many of those headliners would start at 1 a.m. or later. This year, the powers that be wanted the show to start and end on time, hence the strict rules and Missy’s abrupt ending.Essence’s production team placed a digital clock at the front of the stage, positioned where performers can see it and it counted down how much time was left. According to reports, there was also another clock that kept count for the audio and lighting crews at the production camp at the center of the Dome floor.

Whether it was technical issues (like Missy’s DJ trying to run video and audio on the same laptop) or logitistical problems (like Missy trying to run a unique show, complete with her breaking a glass box during her opening), the problem was the dsirespectul and abrupt way Essence decided to end Missy’s show, which they apologized to her for.

Ebanks embraced her. “We love you, Miss Elliott!”

And so do we, which is why we were all upset over the quick ending to her performance. We say they give Missy another show and give us tickets!


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