Tributes to Anita Baker and Ron Isley highlight an evening of "peace, love, and soul."
It was good for the Soul. On Sunday, November 28, BET and Centric simultaneously aired the 2010 Soul Train Awards, hosted by Taraji P. Henson and Terrence Howard. The show, which was taped in the city of Atlanta, was a feel-good event, complete with stellar performances, nostalgic tributes, and fun-filled moments.
The evening's performances were all an example of true talent at work. R. Kelly opened the show with a medley of his hits, reliving the classic songs that made him a household favorite. Eric Benet delivered a heartfelt and flawless vocal performance of "Sometimes I Cry," which earned him much praise from the audience, and Erykah Badu's visually stimulating set complemented her laid-back "Window Seat" performance. Other memorable performances included Ne-Yo doing "Champagne Life" and "One In A Million," and Cee-Lo's edited version of "Forget You."
But the highlights of the show came courtesy of two tributes that were long overdue. Honoring two great legends in music, artists came together to pay homage to Anita Baker and Ron Isley. As Anita Baker sat in the front row watching, Chrisette Michele, Faith Evans, Tamia, El DeBarge and others all took turns singing Anita Baker classics. Later on in the evening, Ron Isley watched as a number of artists including Tank, Keyshia Cole and Bilal sang his songs, from his old school classics to his newer material.
The Song of the Year Award went to B.o.B. featuring Bruno Mars for "Nothng On You." Melanie Fiona won for Best New Artist, and Alicia Keys' "Unthinkable (I'm Ready)" took the Record of the Year (songwriter) award.
As returning hosts, Terrence and Taraji playfully competed with each other, in a dance-off where the two showed their skillful moves on the floor. Taraji whipped her hair back and forth and Terrence got low. At one point, the two even taught CNN's Wolf Blitzer how to Dougie, bringing special guest, Doug E. Fresh, to the stage.
Overall, the show was a throwback to the days when "Soul Train" was on the air, giving viewers a much needed dose of the music that brought them love, peace and sooouuullllll.