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The Soul Train Awards

Genres: Music, Award Shows, Specials

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Season 24

The Soul Train Awards is an annual American award show which honours the best in Black music and entertainment. It is produced by the makers of Soul Train, the program from which it takes its name, and features musical performances by various R&B and hip-hop music recording artists interspersed throughout the ceremonies.

The Soul Train Awards voting body includes active professionals in the fields of radio programming and music retail and management and recording artists with records that have charted in designated music trade publications in the year prior to proceedings.

The 2011 Soul Train Awards took place on 17 November 2011 and were filmed for broadcast on BET worldwide. They aired in the USA on BET and Centric on Sunday 27 November, 2011.

The 24th Soul Train Awards aired in South Africa on TopTV's BET channel on Saturday 3 December 2011, at 22h00. The broadcast began with a red carpet special at 21h00, with the ceremony at 22h00.

2011 Awards

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.

Host Cedric the Entertainer made his grand entrance to the stage a la Soul Train line, followed by various dance moves (pop-locking, the robot, the stanky leg).

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.

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.

Jill Scott, aka "Jilly from Philly", has come a long way both physically 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 Winners

Best New Artist

Bruno Mars
Marsha Ambrosius
Miguel
Frank Ocean

Best Male R&B/Soul Artist

Trey Songz
Chris Brown
Cee Lo Green
R. Kelly
Eric Benet
Miguel

Best Female R&B/Soul Artist

Kelly Rowland
Beyoncé
Marsha Ambrosius
Jennifer Hudson
Jill Scott
Mary J. Blige

Centric Award

Ledisi
Raphael Saddiq
Bilal
Anthony David
Aloe Blacc

Best Caribbean Performance

"Bend Over" – Machel Montano
"Man Down" – Rihanna
"Delilah" – Movado
"Wotless" – Kes The Band
"Summertime" – Vybz Kartel

Best Gospel Performance

"I Smile" – Kirk Franklin
"Walking" – Mary Mary
"Heaven Hear My Heart" – Trin-I-Tee 5:7
"I Believe" – James Fortune feat. Shawn McLemore
"More" – Cece Winans

Album of the Year

Passion Pain Pleasure – Trey Songz
21 – Adele
F.A.M.E. – Chris Brown
Light of the Sun – Jill Scott
4 – Beyoncé Watch the Throne – Jay Z/Kanye West

Best Hip-Hop Song of the Year

Moment for Life – Nicki Minaj
All of the Lights – Kanye West
Look at Me Now – Chris Brown (featuring Busta Rhymes and Lil Wayne)
Out of My Head – Lupe Fiasco
Otis – Jay Z/Kanye West

Song of the Year

"So In Love" – Jill Scott (featuring Anthony Hamilton)
"Motivation" – Kelly Rowland (featuring Lil Wayne)
"Sure Thing" – Miguel
"Rolling in the Deep" – Adele
"She Ain't You" – Chris Brown
"All of the Lights" – Kanye West

Record of the Year (The Ashford Simpson Songwriter's Award)

"Rolling in the Deep" – Adele
"Far Away" – Marsha Ambrosius
"Best Thing I Never Had" – Beyoncé
"Good Man" – Raphael Saddiq
"Hold My Hand" (duet with Akon) – Michael Jackson

Best Dance Performance

"Motivation" – Kelly Rowland
"Only Girl in the World"/"What's My Name" – Rihanna
"Run the World (Girls)" – Beyoncé
"She Ain't You" – Chris Brown
"Walking" – Mary Mary
"Pretty Girl Rock" – Keri Hilson

About the Awards

The awards were first launched in 1987 and tribute the best in black entertainment and music in the categories of R&B, soul, rap, jazz, and gospel.

They've happened annually since 1987, except for in 2008, when they were postponed for various reasons, including the Hollywood writers strike which resulted in the derailing of various shows and ceremonies.


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