The Soul Train Music Awards is an annual music awards show which previously aired in national broadcast syndication, and honors the best in African-American culture, 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 contemporary R&B and soul music recording artists interspersed throughout the ceremonies. The special traditionally used to air in either February, March or April, but now airs the last weekend of November (in most years, Thanksgiving weekend).
|Soul Train Music Awards|
|Current: 2021 Soul Train Music Awards|
|Awarded for||Outstanding achievements in: |
Soul music, Contemporary R&B, Gospel, Jazz, Reggae and Hip Hop
|First awarded||March 23, 1987|
|Website||BET: Soul Train Awards|
|Network||WGN America (1987–2007)|
First Run Syndication (1987–2007)
Centric/BET Her (2009–present)
The Soul Train Music 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. Past hosts for the show include such R&B luminaries as Luther Vandross, Dionne Warwick, Patti LaBelle, Will Smith, Vanessa Williams, Taraji P. Henson, and Gladys Knight.
The Soul Train Music Award trophy has featured an African ceremonial mask since its 1987 introduction. A new trophy was designed by Tristan Eaton of Thunderdog Studios in 2009 and is manufactured by New York firm Society Awards. From 1995 to 2005 a separate award show named Soul Train Lady of Soul Awards was held, honoring female artists.
The 2008 ceremonies were not held due to several factors, including the 2007–08 Writers Guild of America strike, the ill health of Don Cornelius at the time, and Soul Train distributor Tribune Entertainment terminating operations in the wake of the sale of Tribune Media to Sam Zell. With the rights to Soul Train acquired by MadVision Entertainment, the Soul Train Music Awards were presented on November 24, 2009 on BET Her. MadVision now holds the rerun rights to Soul Train.
The 2009 ceremony was held at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, marking the first time in the show's 22-year history it was held outside of the Greater Los Angeles. The 2010 awards was held on November 10 just outside Atlanta at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre, and aired November 28. The 2011 show was once again held in Atlanta and aired November 27. The 2012 ceremony was held live on November 25 at Planet Hollywood Las Vegas in Las Vegas Valley, Nevada. As of 2019, Beyoncé is the most-awarded artist at the Soul Train Music Awards with 16 awards.
In 2015, host Erykah Badu added a new tradition to the award show, the Soul Cypher. Similar to a Hip-Hop cypher, it features a quartet of R&B/Soul/Gospel singers coming together to perform a freestyle. Accompanied by an instrumental beat and a live band, the artists deliver a freestyle arrangement by incorporating lyrics, hooks and/or titles from their popular hits.
|2015||Lalah Hathaway, Eddie Levert, Chrisette Michele & K-Ci||Mobb Deep - Shook Ones Pt. 1|
|2016||Gladys Knight, Ne-Yo, Angie Stone & Tyrese||Bryson Tiller - Don't|
|2017||Bilal, Faith Evans, Fantasia & Mali Music||The Isley Brothers - Footsteps in the Dark (Part 1 & 2)|
|2018||BJ the Chicago Kid, Luke James, Queen Naija & Kelly Price||Patti LaBelle - If Only You Knew|
|2019||Keyshia Cole, Anthony Hamilton, Le'Andria Johnson & Carl Thomas||Robert Glasper - Impromptu Medley|
|2020||Chanté Moore, PJ Morton, Shanice & Stokley||Erykah Badu - Love of My Life|
The original trophy is a bronze abstract sitting figure known as the Vanguard in 1987. However, the trophy is an African mask which is known as the Heritage Award. Its distinctive design created by an unknown sculptor, but its remains a visual trademark for Soul Train's representation of Black music.
From 1989 to 2007, the Heritage mask remained the trophy for Soul Train Music Awards until 2009 when BET and its sister channel Centric revived the awards. Thunderdog designed a brand new trophy based on the program's mascot, an actual train.
- Soul Train Music Award for Quincy Jones Award for Career Achievement
- Soul Train Music Award for Heritage Award - Career Achievement
- Soul Train Music Award for Sammy Davis Jr. - Entertainer of the Year
- Artist of the Decade Award for Extraordinary Artistic Achievements
- Soul Train Music Award for Stevie Wonder Award for Outstanding Achievement in Songwriting
Defunct award categoriesEdit
- Best Gospel Album
- Best Gospel Album – Group or Band
- Best Gospel Album – Solo
- Best Jazz Album
- Best Jazz Album – Group, Band or Duo
- Best Jazz Album – Solo
- Best Rap Single
- Best Rap Album
- Best R&B/Soul Album – Male
- Best R&B/Soul Album – Female
- Best R&B/Soul Album – Group, Band or Duo
- Best R&B/Soul Single – Male
- Best R&B/Soul Single – Female
- Best R&B/Soul Single – Group, Band or Duo
- The Sprite Award for Best R&B/Soul or Rap Dance Cut
Most Awarded ArtistsEdit
- Cochrane, Naima (November 17, 2019). "Music Sermon: The Soul Train Awards Been Lit, We're Just Late To The Party". Vibe.com.
- "Erykah Badu Returns to Host the 2016 Soul Train Music Awards as Drake, Beyoncé Lead Nominations". Billboard. October 12, 2016. Retrieved October 12, 2016.
- "Jill Scott Nabs Trio Of Lady Of Soul Awards". Billboard.com. 29 August 2001. Retrieved 18 November 2021.
- "Soul Train Awards Returning to Atlanta, November 10th". AJC.com. July 14, 2010. Archived from the original on July 19, 2010. Retrieved July 14, 2010.
- "Sixth Annual BET Hip-Hop Awards and Soul Train Awards will Return to Atlanta". AJC.com. July 5, 2011. Archived from the original on November 5, 2013. Retrieved July 5, 2011.
- Grein, Paul (October 18, 2021). "2021 Soul Train Awards to Be Taped at New York's Apollo Theater". Billboard. Retrieved October 18, 2021.
- "Lalah Hathaway, Eddie Levert, Chrisette Michele & K-Ci Rock Over "Shook Ones" At Soul Train Awards Soul Cypher". Okayplayer. December 1, 2020.
- Castaneda, Tom (19 November 2019). "Cardi B Wins Song of the Year at the BET Soul Train Awards". Hispanicallyyours.com. Retrieved 18 November 2021.
- "Soul Train Awards (2005)". IMDb.com. Retrieved 18 November 2021.
- Lisa Respers. "2019 BET Soul Train Awards: The winners list". Kctv5.com. Retrieved 18 November 2021.
- "Bruno Mars wins big at 2017 Soul Train Awards". Abcnews.go.com. Retrieved 18 November 2021.