It was an emotional night at the taping of BET/Centric’s third annual Soul Train Awards on Thursday.
Tributes to Gladys Knight and Earth, Wind & Fire conjured up feelings of happiness and nostalgia. A tribute to the late rapper Heavy D had everyone at the Fox Theater in Atlanta waving glow sticks in the air and muttering, “It’s such a shame.”
While other media outlets were waiting on the red carpet for the celebrity arrivals, S2S was inside talking to Keith Sweat, checking out host Cedric the Entertainer run his lines, and watching singers Robin Thicke and Joe practice their part in the elaborate tribute to Earth, Wind & Fire.
“I started listening to Earth, Wind & Fire when I was a little older. But ‘Reasons’ has always been one of my favorite songs, so I couldn’t be happier to be doing that song” said Robin. He and Joe go way back. They met when Robin was 16 years old and writing for Bryan McKnight. Now 17 years later, Robin’s fifth album Love After War comes out December 6, while his buddy Joe is enjoying good reviews from his The Good, The Bad, and The Sexy, which dropped last month.
Gladys Knight was also honored while Kenny Lattimore, Dave Hollister and Freddy Jackson filled in as the Pips. In her 64 years in the business, Gladys Knight and the Pips have won numerous awards and accolades, but nothing has touched her like being honored by Soul Train. “This is the closest to my heart because it comes from my people. You know the roads we’ve traveled,” Gladys gushed. “Everything we did, we did it together.”
Togetherness was on Montell Jordan’s mind when he invited his 15-year-old daughter Sydney to the show with him for Daddy-Daughter Day. And another kind of togetherness was on Amber Rose’s mind when she spoke about her main squeeze rapper Wiz Khalifa. “I miss my husband, he’s overseas," she said. "He’s been out there for three weeks already. I’m ready for him to come home. I need some lovin’.”
Amber is gearing up for her second year as judge on BET’s DJ competition “Master of the Mix”. She’s also in the beginning stages of recording an album. “I’m working really hard. I’m rapping. I’m singing. I’m having fun. I’m being silly. Upbeat, you know, house club music.”
There must have been something in the air other than the freezing temperature. Malcolm Jamal Warner had a little togetherness on his mind, too. When asked about all the role playing he does with his wife on his sitcom “Reed Between the Lines”, Malcolm said, “I would suggest that couples, whether they’re married or not, put a little bit of that in there.” Now that he’s wrapped on the show, Malcolm plans to focus on his band, Miles Long. His goal is to have their record done by April 2012.
From the show’s opening with The Original 7ven, formerly known as The Time, to the establishment of the Ashford and Simpson Writer of the Year Award, to the incredible performance by Cee Lo Green and Melanie Fiona, BET and Centric definitely put it down. And to Kobe Swanson of BET Networks, Corporate Communications, S2S sends you a big thank you for looking out for us and showing so much love.
You can catch all the performances and special surprises when the show airs on November 29 on both Centric and BET. You won’t want to miss this one!