Oprah delivers inspiring speech at Essence Festival

NEW ORLEANS, July 6 (UPI) — Oprah Winfrey wowed the crowd of thousands at the ESSENCE Festival over July fourth weekend with a powerful keynote speech on living the dream, letting go and letting God.

“I am living the dream and I want you to live the dream,” Winfrey said, speaking in front of some 450,000 at the Mercedes Benz Superdome in New Orleans, ESSENCE reported.

The empowering speech talked about surrendering to the dream. “I’m not living the dream because I’m special, but I was obedient to the call of the dream,” she said. “I’m living in the space of the dream and the dream is good. There is a bigger dream for you. What is God’s dream for you? What does the creator’s dream hold for you?”

Others appearing at Essence Festival included Mariah Carey, Misty Copeland, Rev. Al Sharpton, Kendrick Lamar, CIara and Jakes Maxwell, WWLTV reported.

Known as a party with a purpose, the festival, is put on by ESSENCE magazine. The music festival started in 1994.

“This is what I know for sure,” Winfrey went on. “You don’t get what you wish for, you don’t even get what you hope for. You get what you believe. The magic is to surrender to God’s dream for you. Quit fighting and pushing against and disallowing against and stop trying to tell the Creator what you’re supposed to do. Get still and know that His dream is for you.”

The four-day festival also featured Mariah Carey singing some of her greatest hits, wearing a pink bustier, after six burly men carried her on stage for her opening number, the Irish Examiner reported.

Sprinkled between musical performances, in addition to Winfrey, others gave empowerment speeches and talked of opportunities to give back to the community.

Tourism officials estimate the festival brings $200 million to the local economy.

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