Tonight, BET will air the 2015 Soul Train Awards. Over the years, the show has waxed and waned in terms of its ability to appeal to mass markets, but for many who grew up watching the original Soul Train on Saturday mornings, it is one of the more exciting and more endearing awards shows that celebrates black music and gives just due to artists who often go unrecognized and unrewarded.
This year’s show proves to be an exciting one full of #BlackGirlMagic. Like shows in the past, it was pre-taped earlier this month and scheduled to air over the holiday weekend. Here are 5 reasons why the 2015 show is not one to miss:
- Let’s be honest, BET hasn’t had much soul in its programming for over a decade and a half. This will likely be the blackest thing you see on BET since Bob Johnson sold it and they took BET News off the air.
- There will be an amazing tribute to Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds where Fantasia SLAYS her rendition of “Superwoman.” Not only does she slay, but she’s got Babyface singing backup. (Guuuurl, tell me how did do you do that!? That’s magic!) Grab a sneak peak here.
- The show is being hosted by Erykah Badu who will go a whole 2-3 hours with not even one clothing change! Not a one. Badu also got to serve as the show’s associate producer and write some of her own material for the program. She discussed this gig with Jimmy Fallon in an interview on his show.
- Jill Scott is this year’s recipient of the Lady of Soul award, and rightfully earned. Scott is being recognized for her long-standing influence in the industry and on soul music. She celebrates 15 years in the business this year. Jilly from Philly will perform a medley of her hits during the tribute.
- Following in the tradition of the BET Awards ever-popular The Cypher series, the Soul Train Awards will offer Soul Cypher, which will mesh current soul artists with those who’ve inspired them. Erykah Badu will serve as DJ. If for no other reason, this will be a reason to tune in. Lalah Hathaway and Eddie Levert will not disappoint.
Soul Train, what was once called “the hippest trip in America,” by its founder, the late Don Cornelius brought soul into the homes of Americans regardless of race from 1973-2006. Able to claim itself the “longest-running, first-run, nationally syndicated program in American television history,” Soul Train spent an unprecedented 35 years on the air. The awards have been aired every year since 1987, with the exception of 2008. The program will be simulcast on BET and Centric and will begin at 8pm EST. Don’t worry if you miss the first run; this is BET, after all. It will re-run until the 2016 pre-show.