Janelle Monáe Flashes Her Boob in a Bikini Top and Hot Pants


Every year, Essence Festival brings out some of the biggest names in entertainment to the great city of New Orleans for a weekend celebrating Black music, culture, and revelry. Hosted near the July 4 holiday, the landmark event boasts nightly concerts at the Superdome – including Prince in 2014, Janet Jackson in 2022, and Missy Elliott this year – as well as a packed schedule of events during the day like a Disney Parks brunch or a Roc Nation day party. And celebrities come dressed in their finest summer-ready outfits for the occasion.

Keeping the city’s scorching temperatures and soaring humidity in mind, stars manage to choose practical looks without sacrificing style. There are plenty of warm-weather-friendly trends on display, from hip cutouts to swimwear worn as tops to denim micro minis. Bra and skirt sets, breezy printed shorts, and classic white T-shirts are also in heavy demand at the stylish festival. For concerts, artists think outside the box, choosing bold designs that will make a memorable impact. From a custom couture look with dramatic ruffles and pleats by Robert Wun to a nude bodysuit covered in glittering gold embellishment, there’s no telling what theatrical look you’ll witness on the Essence Festival stage.

For the 2023 Essence Festival, artists brought their sartorial A game. Janelle Monáe gave an unforgettable performance wearing a simple black and white miniskirt and bikini top, which she removed to flash a purple nipple pastie. Coco Jones looked stunning backstage in a peach halter top and flared pants with sparkly hip cutouts on each side. Ari Lennox channeled Tina Turner in a red fringe design with crisscross netting and strappy sandals to match. And Megan Thee Stallion commanded the stage wearing a nude-panel thong bodysuit with glittering gemstones placed strategically along the bodice.

Keep reading for the best celebrity looks from the 2023 Essence Festival, from the stage to the red carpet.

Related: Lori Harvey Wears a Cropped Denim Jacket as a Top at Essence Festival

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