Posted by | Ray Cornelius

In preparation for the debut of their new original series American Soul, BET has released a new behind-the-scenes video featuring legendary director Robert Townsend. The award winning actor and filmmaker is one a few directors working their magic on the series and opens up about this seminal moment in music history. Check it out below:

As previously reported, American Soul is the untold story of the struggle to make the dream of Soul Train come true. Inspired by the personal trials and professional successes of a young, ambitious and troubled impresario Don Cornelius, the 70s period drama is an unflinching look at the entrepreneur, his Soul Train dancers, and musicians set against the backdrop of a cutthroat Hollywood – how they work, play, rise and fall. The series also stars Kelly PriceJason DirdenIantha Richardson, Christopher Jefferson, Katlyn NicholJelani Winston and Sinqua Walls as Don Cornelius.

It also features cameos by Kelly Rowland as Gladys Knight, Bobby Brown as singer Rufus Thomas, Gabrielle Dennis as Tina Turner, McKinley Freeman as Ike Turner, K. Michelle as Martha Reeves and Michelle Williams as Diana Ross.

Check out some of their images + new American Soul poster below:

Michelle Williams as DIANA ROSS
Bobby Brown as Rufus Thomas
Kelly Rowland as GLADYS KNIGHT