Originally taped on November 10th, the 2010 Soul Train Awards took place at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre in Atlanta, Georgia and was televised in the United States tonight on BET/Centric.
R. Kelly opened the show with a medley of his greatest hits and closed his performance with his current hit single “When a Woman Loves” and a 1950’s pop rendition of the song, which the audience seemed to embrace wholeheartedly. The performance featured a live band and him playing joyously on the piano with the dancers around and on the stage cheering him on reminiscent of a bygone era from shows such as American Bandstand.
The show moved effortlessly between performances by Ne-Yo, Erykah Badu, newcomer Bruno Mars, R&B veterans Tank, Eric Benet, Jasmine Sullivan, Cee-Lo and reggae star Gyptian…
R. Kelly – “Medley”:
Ne-Yo – Champagne Life/One In A Million:
Bruno Mars – “Grenade”:
Cee Lo Green – “Fuck You”:
Jazmine Sullivan – “10 Seconds/Holding You Down (Goin’ In Circles)”:
Erykah Badu – “Window Seat”:
There were a couple of pleasant surprises when Melanie Fiona won Best New Artist and B.o.B. and Bruno Mars won Song of the year for “Nothing on You”. Fiona and Mars both gave heartfelt and authentic speeches upon receiving the award. It was the first award for both artists and they were well deserved.
Perhaps, the most moving speech of the night came from current phenom Janelle Monae when she won the Centric Award. Her eloquence and passion shined through and it demonstrated her understanding of pop culture and the society at large.
Hosts Taraji Henson and Terrence Howard held their own during the two in a half hour show providing lighthearted entertainment and a genuine chemistry on stage. The most impromptu performance of the evening came when Hip Hop legend, Doug E. Fresh taught CNN political commentator Wolf Blitzer how to do a popular dance called the “Dougie.”
The original awards show lasted for more than four hours, which meant many clips were taken out to fit the time slot. Some of the performances were cut short such as Tank and Eric Benet, but also SWV’s acapella version of their massive hit record “Weak.” One of the more peculiar incidents of the evening occurred when there was a tie for Best Male R&B/Soul Artist. The award was shared by Trey Songz and Usher.
The best parts of the awards show commenced during the celebrations of two iconic forces in not only the history of black music, but music in general. Anita Baker and Ron Isley are two names that many individuals and current artists grew up admiring and imitating. Tonight, their legacies were on full display as an assortment of contemporary and past greats combined on stage to deliver incomparable performances.
Among the artists to pay tribute to Anita Baker were Tamia, Lalah Hathaway, Dionne Farris, Goapele, Faith Evans, Rachelle Ferrell, Kem and El Debarge. The artists who paid tribute to Ron Isley were El Debarge, Bilal, Tank, Eric Benet, legends Jeffrey Osbourne, Peabo Bryson and Freddie Jackson. The show ended on a high note as Ron Isley performed a medley of his greatest hits and he was joined on stage by Chante Moore and R. Kelly for their hit song “Contagious.” Isley and Cee-Lo Green closed the awards show with a riveting rendition of the Isley Brothers’ classic record from 1959, “Shout.”
Soul Train Awards 2010: The Winners
- Legend Awards: Anita Baker and Ron Isley
- Best new artist: Melanie Fiona
- Best female R&B/soul artist: Alicia Keys
- Best male R&B/soul artist: Trey Songz and Usher (tie)
- Song of the year: “Nothing on You” by B.o.B. featuring Bruno Mars
- Best hip-hop song of the year: “Love the Way You Lie” by Eminem featuring Rihanna
- Album of the year: “Raymond vs. Raymond” by Usher
- Record of the year (songwriter award): “Unthinkable (I’m Ready),” songwriters: Alicia Keys, Aubrey Graham, Brothers, Noah “40” Shebib
- Best reggae artist: Gyptian
- Centric Award: Janelle Monae
- Best gospel performance: Marvin Sapp
- Best dance performance: Ciara, “Ride”
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