NEW YORK (CBSNew York) – Saturday was a big night in Harlem as the annual Soul Train Awards first took place at the Apollo Theater, and the red carpet was packed with celebrities for the occasion.
As CBS2’s Elise Finch reports, the location was chosen to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the “Soul Train” TV show.
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The Soul Train Awards pay tribute to the show and the musicians who carry on this moving legacy.
“What better place to celebrate 50 years of soul, 50 years of legends, 50 years of icons, 50 years of magical moments,” said DJ Cassidy.
The 2021 Soul Train Awards tie an iconic TV show to a legendary New York City theater, and many celebrities were happy to celebrate the pairing.
“Understanding what ‘Soul Train’ has done for our culture and understanding what the Apollo has done for our culture, the opportunities they’ve opened up for all of us, the, the, ah, that makes sense”, actor and singer said Mack Wilds.
Wilds, Fat Joe and Ja Rule walked the red carpet. The same goes for singers El DeBarge, Lucky Day, Maxwell, from Brooklyn – which receives the Living Legend Awards – and Ashanti, from Queens, who receives the Lady of Soul Award.
“It’s such an amazing feeling to be at home in New York, to be celebrated and surrounded by so much love and my peers, and you know, there is so much history with Soul Train, in especially Lady of Soul, so I’m very, very grateful, ”Ashanti said.
“I am very, very happy that she is receiving her flowers here at Soul Train,” said Ja Rule.
“I am proud that BET and Soul Train recognized her because she has been a great ambassador for hip-hop and R&B,” said Fat Joe.
Everyone seems to have fond memories of the TV show which has been affectionately called “The Hottest Trip on the Planet”.
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Singer El DeBarge has performed on the show several times.
“Much of our history can be found in ‘Soul Train’. Don Cornelius put a lot of us in the game and brought us back again and again, ”he said.
Creator and host Don Cornelius first put the “Soul Train” on its tracks in October 1971. The show became known for its star-packed performances and nightclub vibe, thanks to dancers from the Soul Train and to the iconic Soul Train line. where the dancers were able to show their best moves.
“It was the only thing we had growing up, was that we could see artists who looked like us, who had our movements, we learned the latest dances… but it really nourished our culture and it all revolves around the culture, ”actress Wendy Raquel Robinson said. noted.
The Soul Train Awards are produced and broadcast on BET.
Earlier this week, Finch had the opportunity to speak with Connie Orlando, the network’s executive vice president in charge of promotions. She explained why they continue to honor “Soul Train” even though the series is no longer in production.
“When Don Cornelius created this… he was a pioneer. He knocked down doors. He gave the opportunity. It was about celebrating and presenting artists who had not had this opportunity elsewhere. And I think it’s still important to keep going, because I think it still exists, ”said Orlando.
“’Soul Train’ started it all, so it’s only fitting that we keep it going,” Fat Joe said.
This year’s show at the Apollo Theater has a full, live audience, which was not possible in 2020 due to the pandemic.
Much like last year, however, Queens native Tichina Arnold from CBS’s “The Neighborhood” was back to co-host.
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You can watch the ceremony when it airs Sunday, November 28 at 8 p.m. on BET.