Friday, March 22, 2019

Know You Got Soul

December 18, 2018 by  
Filed under Cover Story, Feature

Top stars gathered in Vegas for a Faith-ful celebration of the best in black music.

Faith Evans performs onstage during the 2018 Soul Train Awards
(Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images for BET)

Black Entertainment Television recently held the Soul Train Music Awards at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas. Celebrating the best in soul, R&B and hiphop — while highlighting both legends and breakout stars — the show did not disappoint.

A signature moment of this year’s telecast was the Lady of Soul Award presented to R&B songstress Faith Evans. Her husband, “Love and Hip-Hop: Atlanta” star Stevie J, served as the presenter. The honor came 23 years after Evans released her self-titled debut album.

Several renowned artists — including Missy Elliott, Al B. Sure and Karen Clark Sheard — sent well-wishes and congratulations to Evans. Legendary singer Anita Baker tweeted: “Congratulations Lady of Soul 2018. Faith Evans is one of the baddest natural sopranos 2 pick up the mic.”

Stevie J reminisced about the New Jersey native, who found her voice in the church. He said that his wife was always destined for success. “She shook the whole industry up, because everybody knew her as a songwriter and background singer,” he said. “When she actually took the forefront, it was over.”

Faith Evans wowed the crowd with her performance.
(Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images for BET)

Added Evans: “I never knew I would be a recording artist. I just knew I wanted to make a living with my gift of music.”

After accepting the award, Evans performed a selection of her hit singles, including “You Used to Love Me” and “As Soon As I Get Home.” But one of the greatest moments occurred when Carl Thomas joined the songstress for their “Can’t Believe” duet.

The Soul Train Awards non-stop show that was hosted by “Martin” stars Tisha Campbell and Tichina Arnold, who delighted the audience with a ‘90s dance musical tribute and uproarious comedy.

Faith Evans and husband Stevie J
(Photo by Leon Bennett/Getty Images for BET)

Neo-soul artist Ella Mai led the pack as the evening’s most awarded songstress — dominating in three categories, including Best R&B/Soul Female Artist, Song of the Year and the Ashford and Simpson Songwriter’s Award.

Best New Artist: Daniel Caesar

Soul Train Certified Award: Ledisi

Best R&B/Soul Male Artist: Bruno Mars

Best R&B/Soul Female Artist: Ella Mai

Video of the Year: “Finesse (remix),” Bruno Mars feat. Cardi B

Best Gospel/Inspirational Award: Lecrae

Album/Mixtape of the Year: “H.E.R.,” H.E.R.

Rhythm & Bars Award: (formerly Best Hip-Hop Song of the Year): “In My Feelings,” Drake

Song of the Year: “Boo’d Up,” Ella Mai

Ashford & Simpson Songwriter Award: “Boo’d Up” (written by Ella Howell, Dijon McFarlane, Joelle James, and Larrance Dopson

Best Dance Performance: “Level Up,” Ciara

Best Collaboration Performance: “Best Part,” Daniel Caesar feat. H.E.R.

Neo-soul artist SZA
(Photo by Leon Bennett/Getty Images for BET)

Erykah Badu
(Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images for BET)

Jon B
(Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images for BET)

Ledisi won Soul Train Certified Award
(Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images for BET)

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