For the first time in Soul Train Music Awards history, this year’s show was broadcast live on BET! The star-studded event was held at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada on November 17 and was hosted by actresses Tisha Campbell and Tichina Arnold. The pair opened the show with an upbeat, comedy-laced performance of some of Janet Jackson’s biggest hits produced by the legendary duo Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis.
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The 2011 Soul Train Music Awards on Centric TV were truly spectacular this year. Â I had the privilege to work behind the scenes for two days, and it was amazing to see and understand how a production, such as this, is put together. Â Since I worked behind the scenes, I felt that it was only right for me to bring you the goins-ons.
The Fox Theatre in Midtown Atlanta was the location for this yearâ€™s Soul Train Music Awards.Â The show kicked off with The Original 7even , which consists of Morris Day and the Time, Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis.Â If you were an 80s baby, you were able to sing along to their hits such as: â€œJungle Love,â€ â€œThe Bird,â€ and â€œC-O-O-L.â€ Whatâ€™s that spell? They still have the moves, so please don’t sleep on these cool kings. Â As usual, they looked fonky-fresh and dressed-to-impress with their tailor-made suits on.Â If anyone needs to know the definition of â€˜swag,â€™ please feel free to look up these gentlemen, The Original 7even.Â
Cedric The Entertainer, this yearâ€™s host, came out to the traditional Soul Train line.Â He pop locked and gave us some impressive moves.Â After the music cut, he made us laugh by stating, â€œAfter all that dancing, Iâ€™m tired.â€
Miss Keri Baby, the radiant, Keri Hilson, presented the award for Best New Artist which went to the oh-so-handsome, Miguel.
Soon after, Just Blaze and Amber Rose introduced Common and Marsha Ambrosius to the stage as they performed a duet together.
Radio personality, Tom Joyner, gave a fabulous introduction for the Soul Train Legendâ€™s Award, which went to,Â Gladys Knight.Â Many may not know this, but Ms. Knight was the first person to ever perform on Soul Train.Â The audience was entertained with Kenny Lattimore, Dave Hollister, and Sunny Jackson as her honorary â€˜Pips.â€™ Other stars to honor the legend with their voice were:Â Tamar Braxton, Chrisette Michele, Marsha Ambrosius, Mary Mary, and Natalie Cole.
Ms. Knight gave her acceptance speech and, with the crowds delight, she performed a duet with BeBe Winans.Â It was amazing to see the two perform together.Â The camera got a shot of Terri Vaughnâ€™s face and her expression was priceless. Â I know what you mean, Ms. Vaughn.Â I, too, saw the beauty in this performance by this king and queen.
Here is video of our Ticket winners… Everyone knows that Soul Train is not complete if you donâ€™t have the scramble board.Â Morris Day and the Time and Necole Bitchie did the honors of unscrambling the letters to spell, â€˜The Time,â€™ while Wolf BlitzerÂ and the human beat box,Â Doug E. Fresh, provided a beat-box as the CNN reporter unscrambled the letters to spell out the first video to appear on Soul Train, â€œRock With You.â€Â Russ Parr and Kel Mitchell were also a part of a scramble-board skit.
I adore Cee Lo Green and his individuality.Â Thatâ€™s why it comes as no surprise that he stepped on stage with no shoes on and an all-white outfit with fringe hanging down on the sleeves, as he performed, â€œFool For You,â€ featuring Melanie Fiona.Â Cee Lo also took home the award for Best Male R&B Artist, presented by Keith Sweat and Melissa De Sousa.Â He and Goodie Mob, yes, these kings are still together, walked on stage to accept the award, and he was very humbled to have received the award in his hometown of Atlanta.
I love it when the stars show up to accept an award that they have won.Â Jill Scott, reppinâ€™ the 215, was there to accept her award for Best Female R&B/Soul Artist presented by Michael Baisden and B. Smith. I love Jill with an afro, however, Ms. Scott rawked a sleek, low-cut hairstyle, very nicely.
Lance Gross, Demetria McKinney, and my Soror, Keshia Knight Pulliam, looked fabulous as they introduced fly boys, Lloyd and Miguel as they did a double performance.
The Braxtonâ€™s blessed us with their presence as they introduced Mindless Behavior. These â€˜tweens gave us a spectacular, energized performance, not to mention, theyâ€™re such cutie mctudies.
Itâ€™s hard to believe that we were just watching Heavy D perform at the BET Hip Hop Awards in October.Â Now, at the Soul Train Music Awards, weâ€™re paying our respects due to his untimely death.Â The Heavy D Tribute had all the heavy hitters of hip-hop:Â Doug E. Fresh, Goodie Mob, Naughty by Nature, Daddy-O from Stetsasonic, Whodini, Big Daddy Kane, and Kurtis Blow. The love for Dwight Arrington Myers will forever be strong and never forgotten because we got nothinâ€™, but love for you, Heavy.
Atlantaâ€™s own, NeNe Leakes and Cynthia Bailey graced us with their beauty as they introduced performer, Anthony Hamilton.Â Basketball wives, Shaunie Oâ€™Neal and Tami Roman introduced Robin Thicke as he performed his new single, â€œLove After War.â€
Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis escorted the beautiful, Valerie Simpson, as she presented the Ashford and Simpson Songwriter of the Year Award to the talented, Marsha Ambrosius for â€œFar Away.â€Â Marsha stated that she is from Liverpool, England and moved to Atlanta, and for her to receive this award in Atlanta, you could tell that this young queen was humbled and honored to accept the award. Not only because itâ€™s Soul Train, but because it was presented to her by a woman of such grace and beauty, Ms. Valerie Simpson.Â I know how you feel, Marsha. It all seems like a dream to have listened to such great music as a child, and here comes the time in your life when the person you’ve listened to as a child, presents you with the Songwriter of the Year Award. It all seems so surreal. Well, I havenâ€™t won an award, but you know what I mean. I felt your joy and humility. You earned it, Marsha, because you are an awesome songwriter.
With the show coming to an end, Malcolm Jamal Warner presented the Lifetime Achievement Award to Earth, Wind & Fire. These legends have given us over 40 decades of great music.Â Many rappers and groups sample their music because it was and continues to be that dope. They gave us sounds that cannot be duplicated or even imitated.Â Â The kings of Earth, Wind & Fire sat in the audience as Zap Mama, Miguel, Musiq Soulchild, Bootsy Collins, Lalah Hathaway, Boney James, Eric Benet, Robin Thicke, Joe, Stokley from Mint Condition, and Cee Lo performedÂ a few of the groups’ greatest hits.
Other award winners were: Chris Brown for Album of the Year; Mary Mary taking home the Best Gospel Performance Award; Raphael Saadiq winning the Centric Award; and Best Soul Site Award, Necole Bitchie, who almost made me get in waterworks-mode with her red-carpet speech. Yes, it was that deep.Â You deserve it, Necole! If there was an award for best shoes, Ms. Bitchie wuda won that thang! I seent’chu, Boo! READ MORE
Drake was honored at last night’s Songwriters Hall Of Fame 42nd Annual Induction and Awards Ceremony in New York City. He brought his beautiful mom Sandi as his date to witness him accepting the Hal David Starlight Award onstage. He also performed and hung out with legendary artists like Chaka Khan and Jimmy Jam. READ MORE