On Sunday, November 28, the 2021 Soul Train Awards commemorated the 50th anniversary of the Soul Train television show legacy.
For the first time, the Soul Train Awards took place at the World Famous Apollo in Harlem, with dynamic best-friend duo Tisha Campbell and Tichina Arnold returning as co-hosts of this year’s awards. BET also held the first-ever Soul Train Awards Weekend, a three-day multiplatform celebration that featured several events including the Leading With Soul Luncheon, Soul Surprises, and the formation of a Guinness World Record-breaking Soul Train line.
During the show, Bruno Mars and Anderson .Paak’s Silk Sonic delivered an unforgettable rendition of their track “Fly As Me” to kick off the evening on an exact replica of the iconic Soul Train set. Next, Ciara and Russell Wilson, and Marley Dias received Souls of Justice Award in moving video tribute.
After that, Ari Lennox gave fans a beautiful performance of “Pressure” before Lucky Daye performed a rendition of his hit song “Over.” Gospel singer Fred Hammond–who proclaimed he was turning the show into the “Soul Train Tabernacle Awards”–also performed, delivering an empowering rendition of “Yahweh.”
Ashanti was crowned “Lady of Soul” at this year’s Awards, an honor presented to her by Normani, who spoke about emulating her famous style while growing up. The singer later returned to the stage for a performance of some of her biggest hits including “Happy,” “Rain On Me,” “Baby,” and fan-favorite “What’s Luv” with surprise guest Fat Joe, which prompted the audience to sing along. Ja Rule also joined Ashanti for a performance of “Always On Time” before Ashanti ended her performance with “Foolish.”
In another special moment, Maxwell was presented with the Legend Award by Jazmine Sullivan. The beloved musician accepted the award and expressed gratitude, visibly moved by the emotional moment before performing a medley of his classics including “Til the Cops Come Knockin’,” “Bad Habits,” “Sumthin’ Sumthin’,” new song “Off,” and closing out with “Ascension.”
Silk Sonic returned to the stage to close out the show with a Soul Train-inspired performance of their latest single, “Smokin’ Out The Window.”
Check out the full list of winners from the 2021 Soul Train Awards down below:
BEST NEW ARTISTYUNG BLEU CERTIFIED SOUL AWARD CHARLIE WILSON BEST R&B/SOUL FEMALE ARTIST JAZMINE SULLIVAN BEST R&B/SOUL MALE ARTIST GIVEON BEST GOSPEL/INSPIRATIONAL AWARD KIRK FRANKLIN SONG OF THE YEAR BRUNO MARS, ANDERSON .PAAK, SILK SONIC – LEAVE THE DOOR OPEN ALBUM OF THE YEAR JAZMINE SULLIVAN – HEAUX TALES THE ASHFORD AND SIMPSON SONGWRITER’S AWARD LEAVE THE DOOR OPEN – WRITTEN BY: BRUNO MARS, BRANDON ANDERSON, DERNST EMILE II, CHRISTOPHER BRODY BROWN (BRUNO MARS, ANDERSON .PAAK, SILK SONIC) BEST DANCE PERFORMANCE NORMANI FEAT. CARDI B – WILD SIDE BEST COLLABORATION WIZKID FEAT. TEMS – ESSENCE VIDEO OF THE YEAR BRUNO MARS, ANDERSON .PAAK, SILK SONIC – LEAVE THE DOOR OPEN