Posted by | Ray Cornelius
The 2015 Soul Train Awards aired Sunday night on CENTRIC and BET and I must say I thoroughly enjoyed it from the beginning until the very end. I thought Erykah Badu did a phenomenal job serving as host and was the right kind of “energy” the show needed.
There were also a number of standout performances this year including Tyrese’s soulful version of “Shame” and Jill Scott’s post “Lady of Soul Award” medley of her greatest hits. Scott has been in the industry for 15 years now (yes, it’s been that long) and has totally transformed into a world-class entertainer with a dynamic music and acting career.
I also enjoyed the first-ever “soul music cypher” featuring a few of my personal favorites—Chrisette Michele, Lalah Hathaway, Eddie Levert and KC from Jodeci. Moreover, it was great seeing more awards given out during the telecast with such big names like Jidenna, Mark Ronson ft. Bruno Mars and The Weekend.
The icing-on-the-cake though was the all-star tribute to multi-award winning singer-songwriter and producer Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds. His music catalogue is what legends are made of and this was a honor that was very well deserved. He has written songs for some of the biggest in the industry and it was a joy to see so many of them come back to salute him including Tevin Campbell, Bobby Brown, Boyz II Men and Brandy.
However, the biggest disappointment for me was not seeing R&B vocalist Karyn White perform her classic hit record, “Superwoman.” While I am a huge fan of Fantasia (I love her to pieces and she ‘kilt’ it), I honestly felt that White should have performed her own song. She was by all accounts one of the first “Ladies of L.A. Face”, the iconic company run by Edmonds along with his musical partner L.A. Reid. Interestingly enough, White also felt that she should have been there for the tribute too and put together a video explaining her absence. I had the pleasure of interviewing her in 2012 and asked if she knew her song, “Superwoman,” would become an anthem for woman around the world.
“Of course you never know. You have a feeling. Just like I didn’t know that it would be among the Top 100 songs written by Babyface. It’s an incredible feeling that you just feel and you hope that everyone else feels it too. You try to do things that are relatable and make sure the music is there. The melody is there. And the lyrics! Those three ingredients and a great label that believes in you, is what are most important,” said White to RayCornelius.com. (Click here to read the entire interview)
Check out Karyn White’s video response below (courtesy of her daughter Ashley Lewis) + a full list of winners:
SOUL TRAIN AWARDS 2015 WINNERS
Best New Artist – Jidenna
Best R&B/Soul Male Artist – The Weeknd
Centric Certified Award – Tyrese
Video of the Year – Mark Ronson Ft. Bruno Mars – “Uptown Funk”
Best Gospel and/or Inspirational Song – Lecrae – “All I Need Is You”
Album of the Year – The Weeknd – “Beauty Behind the Madness”
Best Hip-Hop Song of the Year – Kendrick Lamar – “Alright”
Best R&B/Soul Female Artist – Jill Scott
Song of the Year – Mark Ronson Ft. Bruno Mars – “Uptown Funk”
The Ashford & Simpson Songwriter’s Award – “Glory” (From the Motion Picture “Selma”) – Written By: Lonnie Rashid Lynn, John Roger Stephens and Che Smith (Common & John Legend)
Best Dance Performance – Silento – Watch Me (Whip/Nae Nae)
Best Collaboration – Omarion Ft. Chris Brown & Jhené Aiko – “Post To Be”
Photo Credits: Heavy.com and Facebook/Karyn White