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3 Standout Speeches From The 2021 'Soul Train Awards'

This year’s speeches left us feeling loved and inspired.

The 2021 Soul Train Awards saw many of the R&B and soul industry’s best and brightest honored for their contribution and achievements in the genre. Deservingly, Ashanti and Maxwell received some of the most prestigious trophies of the night, “Lady of Soul” and “Legend” awards, respectively. Other artists left that night with bragging rights, including, Jazmine Sullivan who took home two awards, and Silk Sonic who took home three.

Along with big wins, the ceremony heard even bigger and touching acceptance speeches. Whether it was a dedication to their musical inspirations or sharing their award with their fellow peers, this year’s speeches left us feeling loved and inspire. Check out some of our favorite speeches from that night.

  • Yung Bleu dedicates the award to his hometown

    Rapper Yung Bleu took home the award for “Best New Artist” and reflected on how Soul Train played a role in his childhood, growing up in Mobile, Alabama.

    “I just want to let everybody in here know that I’m just so honored to be a part of this historical event and historical legacy of the Soul Train Awards,” the 27-year-old singer said. “I grew up watching this all my life. I’m shaking right now because I used to be so young, watching all these big artists winning these types of awards, and blowing up.”

    He continued, “And just seeing it for myself is such a blessing. Thank God. Thank my fans. I wanna shout out to my whole city Mobile, Alabama. I wanna shout out my whole team shout out Empire shout out Badazz Music shout out everybody. I’m bringing this home.”

  • Maxwell reflects on growing up poor and making it to Soul Train

    Grammy-award winner Maxwell humbly accepted the 2021 “Legend” awards. The singer-songwriter shared his award with his neo-soul/soul peers and Soul Train creator Don Corneilus as he gave an emotional speech about how he connected with music. Check out a snippet of it below.

    “We had food stamps. We had low-income housing. But we had a radio and the radio was the window to my dreams,” the singer explained. “To be able to stand here before all of you and to be part of the community of R&B and soul music is truly the award that I’ve always wished for, but this literally is blowing my entire mind.”

  • Jazmine Sullivan promotes self-love

    After already winning the award for “Best R&B/Soul Female Artist,” Jazmine returned to the stage to accept the award for “Album of the Year,” for her fourth studio album Heaux Tales, during which she spoke candidly about accepting her self-image and implored Black women to do the same.

    “If I was feeling just not my best, I would probably not have shown up, but I don’t want to do that anymore and I wrote this project for women to love themselves no matter what stage of life that they’re in. You have to love yourself especially because society would have us, and especially Black women, not love anything about ourselves.”

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