janelle monae
Credit: janellemonae/ instagram

This year's Essence Festival kicked off yesteday, and it was a hot and hopping event right out the gate. While stars like Oprah Winfrey and Mariah Carey aren't scheduled to appear until today or tomorrow, there were plenty of familiar faces at the New Orleans-based event.

Here are the top six Instagram posts from #EssenceFest so far:

1. Janelle Monáe

First up is singer Janelle Monáe, who's branching out into acting. She was at the festival yesterday discussing her upcoming film, Hidden Figures, and she looked stunning in a black-and-white patterned jumpsuit and black hat.

2. Amber Riley

Also killing it when it came to style was 30-year-old actress and singer Amber Riley, who starred on Glee for many seasons and won her season of Dancing with the Stars. Riley co-hosted last night's 365 Black Awards, and she looked amazing in a pink-and-blue patterned dress with strappy black sandals.

3. Tamera Mowry

Actress Tamera Mowry was also at the festival—she posed for pictures with Adrienne Bailon and Jeannie Mai while wearing a hot pink dress, gold hoop earrings, and a stack of purple Mardi Gras–style necklaces.

4. Braxton Sisters

The Braxton sisters, who you may know from the reality show Braxton Family Values, attended the 365 Awards to support their big sis Toni Braxton. Toni, who sings "Unbreak My Heart," was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the event, and her sisters couldn't be happier for her.

5. Monica Brown

Singer and actress Monica Brown, more commonly know just as Monica, was at the Essence Festival's Color Full Lives booth, where she posed for pictures with fans. She wore a white shirtdress with black stripes with her hair styled super straight around her face.

6. Jordin Sparks

Rounding off our top six is26-year-old American Idol singer Jordin Sparks, who attended the 365 Black Awards to support friend Amber Riley. She looked amazing in a form-fitting black dress that featured mesh strips around her waist and thighs, and she slicked back her hair for a simple, chic aesthetic. Sparks finished off her look with a pair of heeled sneakers, writing in the caption, "I had heels but then thought, 'why?' Lol."

We'll be keeping our eyes on Instagram to see what other Essence Fest attendees post throughout today's festivities.