It was a night filled with love, peace, and soul. That can only mean one thing: The 2011 Soul Train Awards, still going strong after 40 years!
For those who missed it or just want to recap the experience, look no further!
Host Cedric the Entertainer made his grand entrance to the stage a la Soul Train line (of course!), followed by various dance moves (pop-locking, the robot, the stanky leg). His intro, followed by heavy gasps, let us know we were in for a good night. Naturally, the comedian kept us laughing throughout the entire show.
So what about the performances? There were so many who did their thing – Melanie Fiona, Robin Thicke, Joe, Mary Mary, Miguel, Keith Sweat, Eric Benet, Tamar Braxton, Musiq Soulchild, Chrisette Michele, and more.
The tribute to Gladys Knight, featuring Tamar Braxton, Chrisette Michele, Marsha Ambrosius, Mary Mary, and Natalie Cole, truly showed us the legacy of this brilliant woman. The legendary singer sat in her seat, smiling and encouraging the performers. She appeared extraordinarily touched by the tribute. As she accepted the award, Ms. Knight’s speech reminded us why she is truly the epitome of class! “I have received awards over the years…but this one here is closest to my heart because it comes from my people.”
Something has come over Common! He’s definitely known as a conscious rapper, but his performance of “Blue Sky” with Marsha Ambrosius was…different.
Passion on top of passion brewed within the rapper’s voice. “Immortal view of a star doing what I’m born to do / I see the blue sky, say the Lord’s coming through”. Marsha’s soulful chorus was the perfect compliment to Common’s ardent rhymes. This was definitely the rapper’s story. It was his story of pursuing his dreams, and honestly, what better place to bear your soul than the Soul Train Awards?
Remember when Cee-Lo Green was one-fourth of the iconic rap group, Goodie Mob? He’s come a long way since then. Truth be told, he obviously doesn’t care who calls him “eccentric” as he donned a white suit with fringes. The man is actually a visionary! His performance of “Fool for You” with Melanie Fiona was no exception. It was the essence of poignant! Cee-Lo and Melanie’s voices blended beautifully. Holding hands, they sang the heck out of that song as the back-up singers twirled in their fur mini-dresses and snowflakes fell upon the audience. What a soulful performance!
Jill Scott, aka “Jilly from Philly”, has come a long way both physically (she looks great!) and professionally. The soulful singer won the award for Best Female R&B/Soul. Upon her acceptance, she thanked her fans, associates, and of course, Philly.
One of the most memorable moments of the night was the Heavy-D Tribute. We lost the legendary hip-hop pioneer just last month. Rather than recall his untimely death, it was a time to celebrate Heavy D’s life and legacy.
The hip-hop community came together as Doug E. Fresh, Kurtis Blow, Big Daddy Kane, Whodini, Naughty by Nature, and Goodie Mob performed a medley of Heavy’s hits. The audience was on their feet as they lit up the room. As “Nuttin’ But Love” came to a close, Heavy D’s final tweet “Be Inspired” was displayed in the background.
What a night of unity and love of music! The Soul Train Awards are definitely like no other. It brings the perfect balance of new-school artists respectfully blending with their old-school pioneers.
2011 Soul Train Awards Winners
Best Dressed: Keri Hilson ;-)
(We keep it positive here. There is no worst dressed voting.)
Best New Artist – Miguel
Centric Award – Raphael Saddiq
Best Male R&B/Soul Artist – Cee-Lo Green
Best Female R&B/Soul Artist – Jill Scott
Best Gospel Performance – Mary Mary, “Walking”
Album of the Year –Chris Brown, F.A.M.E.
Best Soul Site – NecoleBitchie.com
The Ashford and Simpson Songwriter’s Award/Record of the Year, “Far Away” – Marsha Ambrosius
2011 Soul Train Legends – Gladys Knight and the Pips, Earth Wind and Fire
Best Caribbean Performance – Rihanna, “Man Down”
Best Hip-Hop Song of the Year – Nicki Minaj, Kanye West ft. Rihanna, “Nicki Minaj featuring Drake, “Moment For Life”
Contemporary Jazz –Dave Koz, “Dave Koz, Hello Tomorrow”
Traditional Jazz – Cassandra Wilson, “Cassandra Wilson, Silver Pony”
Best Dance Performance – Beyonce, “Run The World”
Song of the Year –Kelly Rowland featuring Lil Wayne, “Motivation”