From host Erykah Badu’s musical interludes to a Babyface medley that reminded the world that the prolific singer and songwriter is that dude, the 2015 Soul Train Awards were a crowd pleaser. The show aired on BET and Centric on Sunday (November 28), with a focus on soul-stirring music of today and the ’90s.
The big winners of the night included Jidenna for Best New Artist, The Weeknd for Best R&B/Soul Male Artist, Kendrick Lamar’s “Alright” for Best Hip-Hop Song of the Year and Jill Scott for Best R&B/Soul Female Artist. Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds recieved the Legend Award, and Jill Scott took home the Lady of Soul Award.
Some viewers thought the show was marred by the inclusion of a performance by R. Kelly, who has been accused of rape and was tried (and acquitted) on child pornography charges after a video surfaced of him engaging in sex acts with a teenage girl.
Y’all understand his "body’s telling him yes" about a 14 year old girl. Drink out your red cups to that :-/ #SoulTrainAwards
— Demetria Lucas (@abelleinbk) November 30, 2015
Very surprised to see RKelly performing at #SoulTrainAwards. A proven child abuser.
— Miss M Miles (@MissMMiles) November 30, 2015
"…and R. Kelly gives a performance you don’t wanna miss!" *blocks BET* #SoulTrainAwards
— Fucks-Deficient. (@thewayoftheid) November 30, 2015
But the show soared during the performances. The Babyface tribute featured Jason Weaver, Fantasia, Brandy, After 7, Boyz II Men and Bobby Brown singing hits penned by the prolific songwriter. The R&B/Soul Cypher stirred the crowd with freestyle riffs from Eddie Levert, Chrisette Michele, K-Ci Hailey and Lalah Hathaway. And Erica Campbell and Tasha Cobbs brought down the house with their gospel performances.