Boasting performances by a spirited lineup ranging from D.R.A.M., Anderson .Paak and BJ the Chicago Kid to India.Arie, Yuna, Ro James and Eric Benét, Soul Train Awards 2016 took over the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas last night (Nov. 6). Set to premiere Nov. 27 on Centric and BET (8 p.m. ET), the awards show also paid special tribute to Brandy and producer/artist Teddy Riley.
Hitting the stage during a glow-in-the-dark performance, host Erykah Badu riffed on such topics as Donald Trump and alien life in her colorful opening monologue. “The future is black; forget the Jetsons,” declared the singer. “It’ll be more like the Jeffersons.”
Among other show highlights were Badu joining D.R.A.M. to recreate their teaming on the latter’s recently released single “WiFi” and India.Arie pairing with Badu on the message-driven song “Breathe.” The Orleans Arena audience was also treated to the awards show’s second annual “Soul Cypher,” this time featuring Tyrese, Ne-Yo, Angie Stone and soul icon Gladys Knight with Robert Glasper on keyboards and Badu returning as DJ. Singing a medley of its ‘90s jams “Tell Me,” “In My Bed” and “Beauty,” Dru Hill kicked off the evening’s proceedings followed by frontman Sisqo performing his solo hit “Thong Song.” Turning in additional performances were Carl Thomas, MAJOR. and Candice Boyd.
Brandy also performed a medley of her hits (including “Almost Doesn’t Count,” “Full Moon,” “The Boy Is Mine” and “Sitting on Top of the World” joined by MA$E) after receiving this year’s Lady of Soul Award. Jill Scott, the 2015 honoree, presented the award to the Grammy-winning singer. Paying tribute to Brandy via video: Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds, Jazmine Sullivan, Jhené Aiko and others.
Legend Award honoree Teddy Riley celebrated onstage with Bobby Brown, Doug E. Fresh, Guy, Wreckx-N-Effect, V. Bozeman and Tito Jackson. The three-time Grammy Award-winning songwriter/producer/singer accepted his award from Cedric the Entertainer.
Before the excitement that went on inside the arena, spotted on the Soul Train Awards 2016 red carpet were the likes of Teyana Taylor, Fat Joe, Remy Ma, Papoose, MC Lyte, Lalah Hathaway, Bell Biv DeVoe, After 7, BLACKstreet, Tamar Braxton, Keke Wyatt, Tank and BET president of programming Stephen Hill.